(The Center Square) – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced Wednesday that it fined a company selling health insurance plans without a license in Minnesota.
The state fined Texas-based Salvasen Health and its owner, Barry Glenn, and multiple affiliates of Salvasen $553,000 and ordered them to stop operations in the North Star State, the department said in a news release. The company and its affiliates sold unapproved health plans to Minnesota consumers.
Minnesotans with concerns or questions about health insurance plans can contact the department’s consumer service center at 651-239-1600, 800-657-3602 (if outside the Twin Cities) or [email protected].
In early 2022, the department acted to suspend Salvasen and its affiliates’ operations in Minnesota following an investigation that found the company was unlicensed, offering unapproved health plans for sale in Minnesota and failing to pay claims for covered medical services, the release said. MNsure offered a special open enrollment for Minnesotans who bought Salvasen health plans so they could instead enroll in approved health insurance plans through MNsure.
Consumers had told the department that Salvasen had denied coverage in situations Salvasen said would be covered and they had to pay thousands in medical charges out-of-pocket, the release said. Complainants said they didn’t receive any response from Salvasen when they contacted the company about problems with coverage.
Companies that sell health insurance in Minnesota need to be licensed by the state and file health insurance plans for the department’s approval. Companies ensure the state they can afford to cover future medical claims. Federal ERISA applies to self-insured employer plans.
“This is an unfortunate situation where an unlicensed company marketed unapproved health plans in Minnesota, and consumers purchased those products,” Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold said in the release. “We want consumers to know you have protections under state laws when you purchase or use health insurance.”
Salvasen plans were offered through Salvasen Health and Triada.
The state asks Minnesotans who need health insurance to shop through MNsure.org, which is Minnesota’s official health insurance marketplace.
“All plans sold on MNsure.org are guaranteed to cover a set of essential health benefits and offer important consumer protections,” the release said.
Several states have taken enforcement actions against Salvasen.
Salvasen and Triada didn’t immediately respond to The Center Square’s request for comment.