Atlanta – Today, February 27th, 2020, the Maryland Insurance Administration wrongfully issued a revocation order against the Aliera Companies. According to MIA, the “order states that the company was actively trying to sell an unauthorized health insurance plan in Maryland, in violation of state law and an earlier consent order between MIA and the company”.
In 2018, Aliera agreed to “permanently cease the sale, solicitation or operation in Maryland of the Unity HealthShare Ministry plan and any other plan”. Of note, Aliera has not sold any Unity plans since 2018 and has not sold in Maryland in several years. In June 2019, Aliera again gave written affirmation to MIA that it would not be selling any products in the state of Maryland, and this statement has held true.
In March 2019, an investigator with the Maryland Insurance Administration entrapped one of Aliera’s call center representatives by filling out an online form, which is one way the company gathers leads and which only asks for a ZIP code. The representative, who did not recognize the Maryland ZIP code, called the Maryland investigator and discussed one of the health share programs marketed by Aliera. Once the representative began filling out client information, inclusive of the investigator’s address, in Aliera’s enrollment system, the system promptly stopped the sales process and would not let the representative move forward. MIA considers this phone call to be a solicitation, yet Aliera’s system will not allow anyone at the Aliera Companies, regardless of position, to sell any product in the state of Maryland. The MIA investigator’s call confirmed this fact.
To avoid any future interaction with residents in Maryland, the company has since implemented more stringent processes within its call center; Aliera’s backend system no longer allows the sales center to proceed with any call to a Maryland Resident. Further, Aliera updates client information on a weekly basis and cancels any individual who has moved to the state of Maryland effective immediately.
The Aliera Companies offered to surrender its license with the Maryland Insurance Administration, as it does not sell any products in the state of Maryland. When Aliera recommended that its license be voluntarily removed in Maryland, the MIA responded by issuing this revocation order of Aliera’s producer license.
According to MIA, Aliera’s “failure to comply with the terms of a consent order and its continued solicitation of memberships in an unauthorized insurance plan demonstrates that it does not meet the standard of trustworthiness and competence required of an insurance producer”. This statement has no factual basis; Aliera has not sold health care products in the state of Maryland in several years, and it has no intentions of selling any products or programs in Maryland in the future.
Additionally, MIA fails to acknowledge that revocation of license is only permitted in the event of a willful act, which is defined under Maryland law as defiant or obstinate conduct. In both the instance of the telephone call and another allegation concerning a late report, any acts by Aliera’s staff were inadvertent, at best, and certainly were not willful. Aliera explained these circumstances at length to MIA, which chose to ignore state law in issuing the subject order.
Furthermore, MIA’s press release misrepresents the order as a final order. There has been no hearing. Aliera has 30 days from the date of the revocation order, February 27, 2020, to request a hearing, and per Maryland law, the revocation order will be “stayed pending a hearing” if a hearing request is sent within 10 days of the order date. The Aliera Companies will request a hearing and will be pursuing legal steps to ensure the state of Maryland is acting within its ethical and legal bounds. Aliera believes it has upheld its obligations to the state of Maryland, and the company maintains that it acted in a reasonable and prudent manner.
The Aliera Companies
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., The Aliera Companies supports multiple wholly-owned subsidiaries with a combination of services dedicated to providing innovative solutions that simplify and redefine the health care experience. The flexible structure and highly experienced management team afford each subsidiary the opportunity to scale quickly, diversify and grow. The company employs more than 260. For more information, visit alieracompanies.com.