September 28, 2022 — XL Re Europe SE an Ireland insurance company has applied to become a Certified Reinsurer in the State of Utah. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Jay Sueoka with the Utah Insurance Department at 801-957-9253 or by email at email@example.com no later than October 28, 2022.
Consider these tips so you don’t get blown away by fraud.
Check references, licensing and get competitive estimates. Always make sure you know who you are dealing with and charges are fair.
Be cautious about promises of quick service and stocked materials for savings, especially after major storms. Scammers know what to say in desperate times — avoid promises that sound too good to be true.
Offering to waive deductibles may be illegal. Know your state laws, don’t let a desperate situation turn into a permanent nightmare for you or your family.
Avoid demands for high advance payments for work. Reasonable advance payments are normal, demands for high up-front deposits warn of fraud.
Some contractors will actually cause or try to increase damage. Most are honest, but shady contractors may try to take advantage of the situation.
Read contracts carefully and avoid signing away your rights to your insurance coverage to third parties. You may find yourself in a lawsuit you never authorized. Take the time to look over and understand the contract before signing it. It will be to your advantage to do so.
Report suspected fraud to the Utah Insurance Department at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.
Don’t Get Stuck Looking for a Quick Buck
An estimated $9 billion of fraud every year stems from claims filed by workers misrepresenting injuries or receiving benefits from the wrong employer.
Scammers get caught through surveillance, social media monitoring, or medical provider records. Don’t try it.
Employers are the worst fraudsters. An estimated $23 billion in premium fraud is caused by employers’ underhanded tactics, including misclassifying workers and underreporting payroll.
Most states require workers comp insurance for employees. When cheaters duck these responsibilities, honest employers pay higher premiums and employees are denied the treatment and help they deserve.
Fraud investigators and state auditors are watching. Injured employees left without coverage often come forward. If you’re an employer, pay what you owe — it isn’t worth the risk.
Be the Solution, Not the Problem
- Report suspected fraud to the Utah Insurance Department at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.
- Payments offered in cash “under the table” are fraud.
- If you’re injured and your company doesn’t want you to file a claim, be suspicious.
- Be honest about your injuries. Fraud is not worth jail and fines. If others are committing fraud, report them.
- If you suspect a bogus claim, notify your insurance carrier.
- Look for delays between the alleged injury and the claim filing.
- Verify medical treatment is actually related to the claimed injury.
- Be suspicious of statements that conflict with the findings of medical providers and witnesses.
Using Your Health Insurance
As of January 15, 2022, a new federal policy under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCA) requires health insurers to cover up to eight over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests per month with no clinical assessment or up-front cost for each covered member, if the tests are purchased on or after that date.
Consumers should check with their health insurer about direct coverage options through a preferred pharmacy or direct-to-consumer shipping program.
Health insurers that arrange for pharmacies and other retailers to cover the up-front costs of these tests will only be required to reimburse up to $12 per test (or the full cost of the test, whichever is lower) if the test is purchased through an out-of-network provider. In these cases, a consumer may need to provide a copy of the receipt. If tests are temporarily unavailable through direct coverage options due to a supply shortage, and insurer may continue to limit reimbursement to $12 per test (or the full cost of the test, whichever is lower) for OTC COVID-19 tests purchased outside of the direct coverage program.
A health insurer may limit coverage of OTC COVID-19 tests purchased without the involvement of a health care provider to tests purchased from established retailers typically expected to sell OTC COVID-19 tests. Tests purchased from a private individual, online person-to-person, or an online resale or auction marketplace may not be covered. The only OTC COVID-19 tests that must be covered are tests authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can be obtained without a prescription, used and processed without a laboratory, and purchased.
It is important to note that a flex spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) may not provide reimbursement for an OTC COVID-19 test that was paid or reimbursed by an insurer.
Insurers are permitted to take reasonable steps to prevent, detect, and address fraud and abuse.
For more information, please go to https://www.cms.gov/how-to-get-your-at-home-OTC-COVID-19-test-for-free.
Free From the Federal Government
You can also order four free rapid antigen at-home tests per household directly from the federal government. Test kits will be shipped through the US Postal Service starting in late January.
No insurance is required to get these tests.
You can sign up to get yours at https://www.covidtests.gov/.
For Medicare Beneficiaries:
Beginning April 4, 2022, and until the end of the public health emergency, Medicare will cover over-the-counter self-administered COVID-19 tests at no cost to beneficiaries if you have Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. This is in addition to the eight free at-home tests you can continue to order per month from the federal government at https://www.covidtests.gov/. You can get OTC COVID-19 tests at any pharmacy or health care provider that participates in this initiative. Check with your pharmacy or health care provider to see if they are participating. You can find list of eligible pharmacies and other health care providers at https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus#300.
Because additional eligible pharmacies and health care providers may also participate, people with Medicare should check with their pharmacy or health care provider to find out whether they are participating.
Please note that Medicare won’t cover OTC COVID-19 tests if you only have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) coverage, but you may be able to get free tests through other programs.
Additional information may be found at https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus#300 and https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-covers-over-counter-covid-19-tests.
Providers have been waiting for liquidation process to run its course
Insurance Commissioner Jon Pike, acting as liquidator of Arches Mutual Insurance Co., by and through his special deputy liquidator Stillman Consulting Services LLC, is pleased to announce that checks are being sent to Arches’ medical providers for 100% of their approved claim amounts. In all, 1,997 checks are being cut to disburse $25 million to medical providers.
“This is great news for medical providers who have had outstanding claims with Arches for the past six years,” said Commissioner Pike. “Litigation with the federal government has taken a long time, and I am pleased that we’re finally able to make this distribution.”
Further payments to other claimants are forthcoming, pending verification and court approval of their claim amounts. More information about the Arches liquidation is available at http://www.utinsreceivers.org/arches.htm.
Awareness is your best defense against insurance scammers and hackers who want to steal your information.
Most cybercrimes involve identity theft. Criminals steal personal information to hack accounts and access funds. Identity theft can lead to insurance fraud. Here are come common scams.
Phishing — Scammers impersonate legitimate entities using malicious emails and texts to trick you into giving them your sensitive information. If you suspect a phishing attack, contact the proper entity directly to verify the request is real.
Formjacking — Cyber scammers hack a legitimate website to steal user information. Each time a customer fills out a form, a duplicate of the entered information is sent to the scammer. Contact the company if you supect formjacking.
False Quizzes — Swindlers use surveys and quizzes to pry loose personal data. Launching a quiz app may give permission to pull information from your social media profile or phone, giving hackers an opening to steal your identity.
Public Wi-Fi — Using public Wi-Fi at coffee shops, libraries, or other locations puts you at risk for having information stolen. Avoid storing sensitive information on your phone and never share personal information over public Wi-Fi.
If you become the victim of a scam or suspect fraud, report it. You can report insurance scams and fraud to the Utah Insurance Department at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.
You can also report scams to other government agencies at:
- USA.gov List of Utah Consumer Protection Agencies
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
- eConsumer.gov International Scam Reporting
Covid-19 is spurring telemedicine growth. Plan ahead, stay alert, and be aware of costly scams.
Verify Coverage — More insurers are covering telemed, but verify coverage before setting your appointment.
Telemed App — Learn how your telemed app or online portal works, and test it before you use it.
Quiet Area — Set up in a quiet area with good lighting, and make sure your device is plugged in or charged.
Prescriptions — Have your prescriptions ready so you can discuss them accurately.
Refuse Strangers — Scammers try to lure you with “free” exams by doctors you don’t know. They steal your ID and insurance and may falsely bill you too.
Fishy Charges — Check for bogus charges, like a 30-minute session that was billed as an hour.
If you suspect that you’re a victim of telemedicine fraud, report it safely, easily, and anonymously at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families to shop for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This SEP will allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces served by the HealthCare.gov platform to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage.
Beginning February 15, 2021 and running through May 15, 2021, the Marketplace will be open to make this SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application.
Visit HealthCare.gov to enroll in coverage starting Feb. 15, 2021.
Stay alert to insurance scams year-round. Get the most out of your insurance policies. Be safe, know the warning signs — and report scams.
Home Repairs — Avoid storm chasers who knock on your door for repair work after storms.
Bandit Towing — Never deal with a random tow truck that just shows up at the crash scene.
Staged Crashes — Drive safely. Watch for cars that suddenly pull in front of yours.
Medicare Alert — Hang up on callers demanding your personal info to “update” your Medicare account.
Telemedicine — Ignore pitches for “free” video health exams & back braces requiring your personal info.
If you suspect an insurance scheme, report it safely, easily, and anonymously at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.
Understanding a beneficiary’s responsibility is part of any preparation checklist.
Today’s millennials (24–39 years old) are getting older, and along with an impending milestone birthday as the first in the generation turns 40, they’re also more likely to be the owners and beneficiaries of life insurance policies. Along with new life insurance policies come responsibilities to share and be aware of key information that will ensure that benefits get paid when needed.
There is a clear need for better communication about life insurance policies across all generations, according to a new survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). When the beneficiary is younger and potentially newer to the experience, the issue is even more significant. Overall, 55% of millennials surveyed said they are listed as a beneficiary on a friend’s or relative’s life insurance policy, yet only 30% said they are prepared for that role.
Lack of preparation — i.e., sharing and being aware of basic information about policies — leads to millions of dollars in unclaimed benefits each year by beneficiaries who can’t find or don’t know about loved ones’ policies.
“Millennials are entering the stage of life where life insurance policies may, unfortunately, be paid and it’s important for them to know how that process works,” said Utah Insurance Commissioner Todd E. Kiser. “Many are, or should be, thinking about how to provide for their loved ones in the future. A life insurance policy often offers a better benefit when it is purchased earlier rather than later.”
Beneficiaries Should Know Policy Basics
Millennials, who have grown up with cell phones and social media, recognize the power of communication and transparency. That’s good news for buyers and their beneficiaries, who need to significantly improve their game when it comes to sharing and being aware of information about life insurance policies. According to the survey, only 29% of millennial beneficiaries say they know where the policy is kept, 30% know the name of the insurance carrier, and 26% know the benefit amount.
Whether the owner of the policy or the beneficiary, it can be helpful to consider the information as part of a three-part checklist that includes knowing the answers to:
- Who is the carrier?
- What is the benefit amount?
- Where is the policy stored?
To help consumers who do not have all the information that they need, the NAIC maintains a Life Insurance Policy Locator (LIPL) tool. The LIPL has helped consumers claim more than $650 million in benefits since its introduction in 2016. It’s free to use and available online, eliminating the need to contact multiple companies or agents to find a policy or identify whether there is a policy.
The NAIC surveyed more than 1,000 consumers online using SurveyMonkey between Jan. 2–13, 2020. Respondents included approximately equal numbers of Generation Z (18–23 years old), millennials (24–39 years old) and baby boomers (56–74 years old).