North Country Students Could Get Refunds In Insurance Deal
More than 2,500 college students in northern New York were overcharged for their health insurance plans, according to two top state officials.
The officials announced a settlement Tuesday with Markel Insurance Company, which provided student health insurance and other college-related insurance.
Markel agreed to pay $2.75 million to more than 22,000 students and 34 colleges statewide. It averages out to $107 a student, according to the Attorney General's office.
Markel overcharged by nearly $3 million and paid improper broker bonuses, according to a joint announcement from Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
"Running up the health insurance bills of students and parents trying to make ends meet is objectionable, and simply will not be tolerated," Lawsky said.
In northern New York, students at almost all colleges were overcharged, according to the statement. That includes: 1150 at St. Lawrence University, 750 at Clarkson University, 600 at SUNY Potsdam and 40 at Jefferson Community College. SUNY Canton does not appear on the list.
"It did come as a surprise since it really wasn't on anybody's radar," said Ryan Deuel, SLU's director of media relations.
According to the joint statement, New York State insurance regulations require that health insurance plans maintain a minimum “loss ratio” of 65%. A loss ratio is the ratio of the amount paid out in claims under a plan compared to the premium charged under that plan, and requires health insurance plans to pay at least 65 cents on medical care for every dollar of premium.
Students are eligible for a refund if they were enrolled in a Markel plan between 2007 and 2010, or 2011-2012. Markel has stopped offering student health plans in New York.
The statement does not specify how students can apply for refunds.
Thursday, April 17, 2014, Watertown, NY
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