After a Kansas City, Mo., NBC affiliate highlighted the struggle of a patient’s family and regulators to battle for long-term care insurance coverage after buying a policy, the head of the health committee at the National Assocition of Insurance Commissioners has vowed stronger regulation for those LTC insurers that deny coverage even when it deemed valid.
The case involves a company issuing no benefit payments for over $165,000 in care for a Miriam Mills, a 93-year-old nursing home patient with memory lapses. Mills’ case was spotlighted by NBC Action News 41 in a story meant to expose the alleged problems with Bankers Life and Casualty Company, which serves seniors.
Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is quoted as saying the actions of the company are under review and could result in more regulatory action.
Kansas Insurance Commission records from 2010 show 24 complaints against Bankers Life, and the Bankers Life filings accounted for more than half of all long-term care complaints filed in Kansas, the news station reported.
“We are continuing to get complaints, so there may be additional fines going forward,” Praeger said to NBC 41.
Praeger, who will continue to chair the NAIC’s Health (B) and Managed Care Committee in 2012 and who was NAIC president during the AIG liquidity crisis, issued a statement to National Underwriter that puts long-term care insurance carriers on notice if they try to exploit elders.
“State insurance departments are very attuned to assisting older consumers and their families with long-term care issues,” Praeger said. “As witnessed in the past, we can band together to make sure that long-term care companies are fulfilling their contractual obligations to our consumers.”