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News of the Day ... In Perspective

2/24/2007

“Any, Any, Any” Plan may be insolvent

Universal Health Care of St. Petersburg, FL, which has attracted 115,000 Medicare beneficiaries with promises of zero premium, money back, and “hassle free” health care, is under investigation by the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation. The company, which started in Florida, has now expanded to a total of eight states.

Universal has been plagued with consumer complaints, including lengthy waits to get procedures approved. Billing questions are routed to India, where customer service personnel reportedly “sound like robots.” People promised a rebate on their Medicare premium have waited months for reimbursement. While subscribers to the Medicare Advantage Private Fee for Service plan are supposed to be able to see any doctor, many physicians have been unwilling to deal with Universal.

The Florida agency is concerned that the insurer has grown too rapidly and may not have sufficient financial reserves as required by law (St. Petersburg Times 2/13/07).

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