Idaho Health Insurer Ordered to Halt Wash. Operations

June 17, 2005

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has ordered an Idaho health insurer to stop operations in Washington for reportedly failing to comply with state insurance regulations after an Anacortes woman complained the company refused to pay a hospital bill.

The Boise-based company, Employer’s Resource Management Company (ERMC), was ordered recently to cease-and-desist operations. The order follows an investigation by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) into a 2004 complaint about the billing dispute.

The investigation disclosed that the insurer was marketing and selling products, soliciting customers and transacting business in violation of state law, including misrepresenting products, and failing to meet licensing and certification requirements. The company reportedly maintains it is exempt from state regulation, and has appealed similar enforcement actions by state and federal authorities in Idaho and Virginia.

The Washington case involves an employer health plan that the insurer sold to a medical service company to cover its 52 employees. One of the employees, an Anacortes woman, filed a complaint with the OIC after the insurer refused to pay a hospital bill.

The OIC reported that the 52 employees have since been switched to legitimate health plans. But the OIC also said that the company may have sold plans to other employers. Anyone insured by Employer’s Resource Management Company (also known as American Employer’s Benefit Trust) should contact Ted Bader at the OIC (360) 725-7049.

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