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News Release

PWBA Press Release: Iowa Insurance Company to Refund More than $6 Million [03/02/99]

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

For more information call: (202) 219-8921

An Iowa based insurance company, formerly Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa and South Dakota, will pay $6.875 million to employers and their workers who were denied discounts they should have received for health services.

The U.S. Department of Labor reached a settlement with Wellmark, Inc. of Des Moines, which also will pay $1.375 million in civil penalties. The Labor Department alleges that Wellmark, when operating as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, negotiated discounts with hospitals and other health care providers but billed clients at full fees.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa and South Dakota administered more than 200 private employer self-insured health plans. The plans were governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which is enforced by the Labor Department's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.

Since 1993, the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration has conducted 118 investigations of self-insured health plan administrators and recovered more than $31 million.

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Internet. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202.693.7773 or TTY 202.693.7775.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 2, 1999
Release Number