Arkansas Negotiates Payment of TRG Claims

March 5, 2004

Arkansas State Insurance Commissioner Mike Pickens announced that agreements have been reached regarding the payment of outstanding claims that Arkansas insureds had thought could remain unpaid by TRG.

Agreements have been reached regarding enrollees in the health plan of TRG Marketing LLC.

After an extended period of negotiations, the Arkansas Insurance Department was recently notified by National Health Plans Plus Inc., (NHPP) of its commitment to pay all legitimate claims on TRG policies sold by agents of NHPP. NHPP is expected to pay more than $240, 000 as a result of TRG’s failure to pay claims due under the health plan sold by NHPP.

The Florida-based National Health Plan Plus Inc. sold the TRG health plan product until the plan was shut down by the Arkansas Insurance Department in 2002. Up until that time TRG Marketing had operated as an unauthorized multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) plan. It had falsely claimed both to offer a single employer plan pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and to be exempt from State regulation.

“We are encouraged and excited to have reached an amicable agreement, one which benefits Arkansas consumers,” Commissioner Pickens said. “Much of the credit for the favorable resolution to this issue goes to Insurance Department Associate Counsel, Sara Farris. Her tenacity and passion played a significant role in this very positive outcome.”

Former TRG enrollees are asked to contact Associate Counsel Sara Farris at the insurance department with questions on how to present information concerning claims unpaid by TRG. Farris can be reached at (800) 282-9134 or (501) 371-2820.

The department also said it has been informed by Columbia Insurance Group of its agreement to pay the claim of one of its policyholders who damaged property in Russellville while experiencing a heart attack. Columbia initially denied paying the property claims because the company did not believe it was liable, based on the rulings in two Arkansas Supreme Court cases.

“While Columbia had a basis for contesting the claims arising from an accident involving its insured, the company has a strong sense of obligation to its policyholders,” Commissioner Pickens said. “We appreciate Columbia ‘s willingness to consider the interests of its policyholders and the citizens of Arkansas.”

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