Health Insurance Innovations Regulatory Settlement Agreement: What You Need to Know
On March 4, 2021, Health Insurance Innovations (HIIQ) signed a regulatory settlement agreement with several states` attorneys general. The settlement agreement is the result of a multi-year investigation by the states into HIIQ`s insurance sales practices. The agreement requires HIIQ to make significant changes to its business practices and pay a $10 million fine.
Here`s what you need to know about the HIIQ regulatory settlement agreement and its implications for the health insurance industry.
What is HIIQ?
HIIQ is a publicly traded company that operates as an online marketplace for health insurance. HIIQ connects consumers with insurance carriers and sells policies through licensed agents. The company`s primary focus is on the sale of short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans.
What were the allegations against HIIQ?
The states` attorneys general alleged that HIIQ engaged in deceptive and misleading sales practices. Specifically, the investigation found that HIIQ:
– Misrepresented the benefits, terms, and conditions of its insurance policies
– Failed to adequately train and supervise its agents
– Enrolled consumers in insurance policies without their knowledge or consent
– Failed to adequately disclose fees and commissions
– Failed to properly handle complaints and disputes
What are the terms of the settlement agreement?
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, HIIQ is required to make significant changes to its business practices. These changes include:
– Implementing a compliance program to ensure that its sales practices comply with applicable laws and regulations
– Hiring an independent compliance monitor to oversee its operations for three years
– Providing refunds to certain consumers who were enrolled in insurance policies without their knowledge or consent
– Improving its customer service processes to ensure that complaints and disputes are handled properly
– Paying a $10 million fine
What are the implications for the health insurance industry?
The HIIQ regulatory settlement agreement is significant for several reasons. First, it demonstrates that state attorneys general are paying close attention to the online health insurance marketplace. As more consumers turn to online marketplaces to purchase health insurance, regulators will likely increase their scrutiny of these platforms.
Second, the settlement agreement could have a chilling effect on the sale of short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans. These plans have been controversial because they often provide less comprehensive coverage than traditional health insurance plans. The HIIQ investigation found that the company`s short-term plans contained significant exclusions and limitations, which could make consumers hesitant to purchase these policies in the future.
Finally, the HIIQ settlement agreement is a reminder that compliance is critical in the health insurance industry. Health insurers and their agents must ensure that their sales practices are transparent, accurate, and compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
In conclusion, the HIIQ regulatory settlement agreement is a significant development for the health insurance industry. The agreement highlights the importance of compliance in the online health insurance marketplace and could have a broader impact on the sale of short-term health insurance plans. As the health insurance landscape continues to evolve, it will be important for insurers and their agents to stay up-to-date on regulatory developments and ensure that their sales practices are fully compliant.