HELENA, Mont. – Today, Montana Commissioner of Insurance and Securities Monica J. Lindeen has taken legal action to protect Montana consumers from a firm selling bogus insurance. Lindeen’s office is seeking a permanent cease and desist order, fines, and restitution from a group called Consolidated Worker’s Association (CWA) of Delaware and an affiliated group, the National Alliance of Benefit Services Association (NABSA).
“Fake health insurance programs are stealing money from Montanans who are struggling to make ends meet. Stopping them is a top priority,” said Lindeen. “These scams prey on a vulnerable segment of our population – the uninsured families and businesses struggling with high insurance premiums.”
Lindeen says CWA, operated by Walter R. Cecchini Jr., initiated sales through the internet and illegal “fax blasting”, the practice of sending massive amounts of the unsolicited advertisements by fax machine. Solicitations advertise “$10 doctor visits”, “Pre-Existing Conditions OK”, and rates starting at $199.
Lindeen is seeking fines, restitution, and a permanent cease and desist order against CWA and NABSA and is alleging that fraud was perpetrated on more than a dozen Montana consumers including:
- Consumers were told that CWA was the underwriter and insurance company for the health coverage and not told they would be joining an association as part of their enrollment.
- CWA is not an authorized insurance company in Montana or any other state.
- The consumer was not made aware that the coverage would be a limited benefit combined with medical care and pharmacy discount cards.
- Neither CWA nor NABSA are licensed to sell insurance or discount cards in Montana.
- CWA has solicited its bogus product to more than a dozen Montana residents.
Commissioner Monica Lindeen warns, “If you get an unsolicited fax for health insurance do not respond. Unsolicited faxes are illegal according to both Montana and Federal law. Also, do not call the number to get off the list or you may be harassed by solicitors.”
Montanans who need help finding legitimate insurance coverage or who want to confirm the credibility of a company or an agent are invited to contact the State Auditor’s Office. The office has a team of insurance advocates on staff that can help. Call the State Auditor’s Office toll–free at 1-800-332-6148.