The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 10, 2012

Failed insurer finally pays up

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak presented Integris Bass Baptist Health Center with a check for more than $200,000 Friday, part of a $15.3 million settlement from an insurance company that failed a decade ago.

The check for $204,530.98 was presented by Doak to Bass President Jeff Tarrant as settlement for unpaid claims against AmCare Health Plans, which ceased operations on Oct. 1, 2002.

Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas filed suit against AmCare after it was placed into receivership in 2003.

According to a report from the Oklahoma Insurance Department: “Investigators found AmCare was severely undercapitalized and was manipulating its financial records by moving assets back and forth between sister companies in an attempt to appear solvent.”

“AmCare had no intention of paying its claims,” Doak said in a press release. “This was a purely financial move on their part, and we won’t stand for it. I refuse to let Oklahoma taxpayers foot the bill for companies’ mistakes.”

After nearly a decade of legal wrangling the final $15.3 million is being awarded this month to affected Oklahoma doctors and hospitals to cover principal payments from the AmCare accounts. The Oklahoma Insurance Commission successfully petitioned in 2006 to have $8.8 million of the settlement distributed early.

“This is great news for Oklahoma hospitals and medical providers,” Doak said. “They were left holding the bag when this company failed to pay hundreds of claims. Now, finally, these claims will be paid in full.”

Tarrant said Bass is pleased to finally receive payment for the delinquent claims.

“We are pleased that the Oklahoma Insurance Department has seen the AmCare issue through the court system, over a lengthy process spanning many years,” Tarrant said. “The department’s hard work and determination paid off, and today we received a check for more than $200,000, which we will put to use in meeting our mission and taking care of families in Enid and throughout northwest Oklahoma.”