NU Online News Service, March 28, 2:56 p.m. – Texas Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor on Wednesday issued a cease-and-desist order to stop what he says is an unauthorized entity from selling health insurance policies to Texas consumers for the fourth time in one year.
Montemayor’s latest order is directed at Ajax Health Benefit Plan, Ajax Enterprises Inc. and Justin Michael Sciarra, the owner and president of both companies, which are located in Audubon, N.J., according to the Texas Insurance Department Web site.
Along with the cease-and-desist order, Montemayor ordered the companies and Sciarra each to pay $1 million in administrative penalties within 30 days.
While unlicensed and unauthorized to sell insurance in Texas, Ajax Health Benefit Plan, Ajax Enterprises Inc. and Sciarra began selling health care coverage in September 2000, and they claimed to be a health care plan established and operated in accordance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. About 250 Texas residents were enrolled in the plans that terminated Jan. 31, 2001, according to the insurance department.
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Enrollees in the Ajax Health Benefit Plan were required to become “employees” of Ajax Enterprises Inc., a purported staff leasing company. However, the enrollees neither worked for Ajax Enterprise Inc., nor did Ajax pay them wages, according to the department.