by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP
The number of rated age requests going to structured annuity underwriting departments without legitimate intent for business to follow (on the rated age lives) is a blood gorged clot, clogging the structured settlement service artery and affecting everyone's ability to service business in the structured settlement industry. IT HAS TO STOP!
Several firms, including life companies have been approached by workers compensation service providers offering money to obtain rated ages with feigned promises of business. Most turn these "opportunities" down. Apparently some structured settlement brokers are submitting meds, 20 or so at a time. ( each approximately 5-20 pages long) over long periods of time and the annuity markets are seeing no business from them. Is this ethical? Is this and what is described herein an unfair trade practice?
In 2007, Protocols, LLC, a Colorado firm that provides Medicare Set-Aside, Workers’ Compensation, Medical Case Management wrote this blog post addressing the crisis. The warning alarms have been sounding. Who is listening?
As I've begun an investigation into this serious problem that affects everyone, it is obvious that the flood of workers comp medicals for what I will dub "phantom MSA annuity induced cases" has reached such a critical juncture that one cannot just sit still. In some cases it is now taking as long as 48 hours to get rated ages on legitimate cases when it used to be a few hours.
I don't expect the number to be huge BUT, the structured settlement service artery clogging who are found to be responsible for continually flooding the medical underwriting departments of annuity issuers concealing that they (rogue brokers) can make multiples of $50 to $100 (on the back of salaries that they don't pay and at the expense of timely service to the rest of the industry) need to be held to task and will be. I'm not talking about a one off case, or where there is a legitimate intent to place annuity business. I'm talking about serial abusers. Rest assured the problem is not going unnoticed by the annuity issuers and now it's not going to go unnoticed by anyone else. The situation must be addressed as stakeholders expound on the implications of MMSEA.
How about the structured settlement general agents? Do you have knowledge of what your employees or affiliates are doing?
What business decisions should the life markets be making with regard to the abusers' appointments? The clogged arteries need a strong response "statin" now!
An investigation is underway into this corrupt business practice. Those agents and/or agencies who abuse the system and affect everyone else will be publicly identified.
To those who think identifying them will be difficult, consider the power of a FOIA request which will be made to a certain federal agency.
Comments from industry members: