N.D. DOI Issues Cease & Desist on Choice Benefits

September 21, 2005

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman today issued a cease and desist order against Choice Benefits, a Houston, Tex.-based company marketing “discount health plans.”

Choice Benefits, which has advertised in violation of a new state law aimed at curbing abuses in the marketing of discount medical plans, is the first company to receive a cease-and-desist order under the law, which was passed last legislative session.

Poolman’s order alleges Choice Benefits’ advertisement failed to disclose that the discount medical plan was not an insurance policy; it used misleading terminology that could cause a consumer to believe the plan was insurance; it failed to disclose that plan members are obligated to pay for all health care services, but will receive a discount from those health care providers that have contracted with the discount medical plan organization; and failed to include the name and address of the marketer and of the discount medical plan organization.

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