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Assurant Health
Old 05-30-2007, 11:27 AM   #1
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Assurant Health

Does anyone have any information on Assurant Health? I was reading a VFW magazine and they had an article offering Assurant Health. I check it out and their rates seems reasonable. That is the reason for the question, do good to be true usually means exactly that.

Thanks runnerr
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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You might want to read this thread: FIRE Health Insurance Concerns
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:03 PM   #3
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Thanks, I remember seeing the program and thought Assurant Health might be the company but wasn't sure, that's why i posted. I am set for insurance for now but keep researching just in case.

Runnerr
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:24 PM   #4
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Assurant Health is a decent carrier. Our office has been selling their products for nearly 10 years and have NEVER run into a case like the one described in the CBS newcast. I am certain those kind of cases are few and far between, and there could probably instances like that found with any insurance company. When and if they arise, we use the division of insurance to straighten things out, and so far, we've been 100% successful with that. Assurant's biggest pitfall is their renewal rates. For some reason, they don't do a very good job of keeping them in line with new business rates, and they take rate increases almost every 9 months. On the other hand, they've been in business for something like half a century and are very unlikely to fold or go out of business anytime soon. They also have one of the largest nationwide networks, and are very portable if you need to move from state to state.
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More on Assurant
Old 06-03-2007, 06:43 PM   #5
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More on Assurant

From CT.gov, Connecticut Insurance Department
CID: News Release 03/29/2007

________________________________________

The Department began investigating the Companies in September of 2006. For the past six months, the Department has dedicated staff to extensively review claims, underwriting and marketing materials and appeal information from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2005. The Department has reviewed over 500 claims focusing on claim denials for pre-existing conditions.

Commissioner Cogswell stated that “While I am pleased that the Department has been able to provide some relief to policyholders, I am concerned that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope that the implementation of the Consent Order will bring even more relief to policyholders whose claims have been improperly denied. I look forward to our continued work with the Companies as we develop the corrective action plan and provide additional financial restitution to policyholders.”


A sampling of claims files from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2005 indicated that Assurant has:
  • Failed to comply with the state’s prompt pay laws;
  • Denied claims on the basis of a pre-existing condition only to have their determination overturned on appeal; and
  • Delayed investigations into denials of pre-existing conditions.
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
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It's very concerning.

Where's a consumer to turn to identify and protect them from abusive, dishonest or overly greedy insurance carriers?
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:09 PM   #7
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Assurant was on the news just last week and it was not a very flattering story. I am sure you could Google the story. Personally, I had a lot of problems with them when I was looking for some short-term insurance, all of which dealt with my pre-existing condition.
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:34 PM   #8
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This is just an FYI, and not meant to be critical - I just wanted to point that out since so many on this board view every single one of my posts as criticism when they are just meant to be informative....

As far as I know, there is not a single short term policy out there, regardless of carrier, that covers pre-existing conditions, regardless of whether or not the conditions are disclosed on the application. You will always see that limitation on all short term policies. Assurant Health is one of the largest providers of short term policies. In CO, they are only one of two carriers that offer short term coverage. The contract specifically states that pre-existing conditions are not covered, and the limitation is well advertised in the materials available prior to the purchase of a short term policy with them.

While I agree that there may be instances where the insurance carrier is clearly in the wrong with claim denials, I don't think it is a problem that is specific to Assurant Health...ie..it happens every now and then will all of the different carriers. Also, I really feel that those instances (claims being denied on the basis of a pre-existing condtion) are few and far between, being that I've only come across two of them since being in the business. So, my advice to people would be to not panic too much over the news story...oftentimes, the news is slanted and doesn't always give the complete picture.

On the cases that I have dealt with over the past 10 years, one was with Humana, and the other was with Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The Humana one was very recent and was actually very easily taken care of within two weeks by sending in medical records as proof that the condition was not pre-existing. The claims review team was very respponsive, agreed with the information in the medical records and released the claim. The other one was with Blue Cross and actually turned out to be correct - the person had failed to disclose the condition on her application.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:26 AM   #9
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Insurance regulators say Assurant Health overbilled small firms - The Business Journal of Milwaukee:

Note: Fortis insurance name changed to Assurant (2004)

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State insurance regulators logged 211 complaints against Fortis between Jan. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2003, according to the report.

That included 73 complaints about individual accident and health coverage in 2003 alone, or 0.38 complaints per $100,000 of written premium -- more than five times the state average of 0.07. It was the highest "complaint ratio" among individual accident and health insurers in the state during that time.

The majority of the complaints involved "claim handling issues" such as claim denials, according to the investigation. Sixty-seven complaints involved the insurer's preferred provider organization business.

The investigation report includes 45 recommendations that Assurant must follow to comply with state law. Many are minor recommendations, ranging from maintaining a more accurate database of agents to revising a brochure it gives to employer customers.

Violations a concern
The breadth of state law violations, however, was concerning, Ezalarab said.

She said there is a general "pattern" of Assurant not following Wisconsin insurance rules, and that the insurer "does not seem to have policies or procedures in place" to do so adequately.

She said Assurant's lack of compliance with state-specific rules is especially concerning given that the insurer is based in Wisconsin.


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Old 06-04-2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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Most states post complaint ratios on their division of insurance website. If this is a huge concern to you, I would definately look at the division of insurance statistics for your state....for example, here is Colorado's. The health insurance complaints start on page 5. As you can see, almost every carrier has complaints against them:

http://www.dora.state.co.us/Insuranc...omplaintcy.pdf
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:03 AM   #11
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OregonLive.com: Regulators fine Assurant Health over Oregon violations

March 2007
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State insurance investigators said they found widespread violations, including refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation, failing to comply with claim notification requirements, improperly using claim information to evaluate the health status of applicants, and failing to give customers credit for prior insurance coverage.

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Old 06-04-2007, 10:32 AM   #12
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Yeah, Assurant is beginning to look like a real prize. A couple thousand complaints/fines could not possibly wrong. The rates are low b/c there is a chance -- better chance than that of their competition -- they will take the high road when it comes time to pay. I say run...
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:52 AM   #13
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So now we have -- at the minimum -- a pattern of abuse in Wisconsin and Connecticut, and a name change from Fortis to Assurant.

I wonder if insurance agents are informed of these actions so they can protect their clients from potentially abusive companies.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
So now we have -- at the minimum -- a pattern of abuse in Wisconsin and Connecticut, and a name change from Fortis to Assurant.

I wonder if insurance agents are informed of these actions so they can protect their clients from potentially abusive companies.
I applied with Assurant but BCBS gave me the thumbs up so I canceled my application with Assurant. Glad it worked out the way it did.

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Old 06-04-2007, 12:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
So now we have -- at the minimum -- a pattern of abuse in Wisconsin and Connecticut, and a name change from Fortis to Assurant.

I wonder if insurance agents are informed of these actions so they can protect their clients from potentially abusive companies.
We are well aware of complaint ratios - They are posted on the division of insurance website for each state. Here's Colorado's just as an example:

http://www.dora.state.co.us/Insuranc...omplaintcy.pdf

See page 5.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs View Post
We are well aware of complaint ratios - They are posted on the division of insurance website for each state. Here's Colorado's just as an example:

http://www.dora.state.co.us/Insuranc...omplaintcy.pdf

See page 5.
You say you have access to the information, yet you labeled Assurant as "decent" in a prior post. To me that means reliable, good customer service, trustworthy and competent if not stellar.

Something's not jiving. Can you see where an average consumer might feel confused or even misled by these observations?
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
You say you have access to the information, yet you labeled Assurant as "decent" in a prior post. To me that means reliable, good customer service, trustworthy and competent if not stellar.

Something's not jiving. Can you see where an average consumer might feel confused or even misled by these observations?

Let me clarify - I thought by supplying the link, it would make sense. According to the Colorado Complaint Ratios, Fortis (now Assurant) had .78 complaints per $1,000,000 worth of business. Many other carriers had similar or worse ratios.

So, what I'm trying to get at here is that it's not uncommon for carriers to have complaints against them. .78 complaints per $million dollars of premium might be twice that of some other carriers, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not really that abnormal or outrageously worse than any other carrier. Also, my feeling on this is that the majority of complaints are fairly quickly handled without going through too much rigamorole.

Obviously, the ideal situation would be zero complaints, but I doubt that would ever happen. I think the news tends to blow things out of proportion and make things seem worse than they really are because of their agenda. I'm not trying to mislead anyone. The data is right there in the link for everyone to look at. To me, it seems like the news articles are not giving the complete picture.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:40 PM   #18
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As an aside to my post above....

Let's just assume that the average premium is $200. That's less than one complaint for every 5,000 policies sold, and out of all those complaints, only SOME of those have to do with pre-existing condition denials.
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Assurant companies: Complaint ratios
Old 06-04-2007, 02:54 PM   #19
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Assurant companies: Complaint ratios

The complaint ratios are interesting.

I went to the National Assn. of Insurance Commissioners site (NAIC Consumer Information Source) and put in Time Insurance. Some of the names Assurant operates under can be seen at the bottom of the Health Insurance Plans from Assurant Health page (this is one of them).

When searching the NAIC site, I used California for the input 'state' but that will take you to the NATIONAL ratio reports, you don't really have to search through 50 states for an overview.

From the NAIC site:
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Please note that "Total Complaints" include only those complaints in which the final resolution by the respective state upheld the consumer's complaint position.

TIME INS CO
COMPLAINT RATIO REPORT



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Old 06-04-2007, 02:55 PM   #20
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Interesting:
NARI-Assurant-health-insurance


"You can probably find higher quality insurance at a lower price. Assurant was a popular small business health insurance provider in the 1990s (and we supported enrollment in this plan) but now the other business associations we know have moved away from Assurant due to an array of complaints by members. This service has previously covered complaint ratios reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as well as individual complaints about policy exclusions, tiered rating, post issue underwriting, higher than average renewal premium increases, inadequate customer service access and other issues.

We suspect that NARI remains with Assurant for financial reasons (Assurant pays commissions) and because there simply is not have a more attractive alternative. "

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