Don’t Ask & We Won’t Tell

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“Don’t Ask and We Won’t Tell” brings clarity to the issue of undisclosed kickbacks paid by some carriers/TPA’s to “independent” insurance consultants.

By Molly Mulebriar

The clarity is certain. Unidentified sources of revenue are acknowledged within contracts. Semi-disclosure veils the action but protects the integrity of the vendor. “I didn’t mislead you, I clearly indicated in the contract, which by the way you read and signed, that Joe Smith, your insurance consultant, may be getting paid by us as a result of placing our business with you.” 

Memorialized in Administration Agreements, which Plan Sponsors seldom read, is language certain to please both the seller of goods (carrier) and the purveyor of goods (consultant in this case).

See previous post: Do Fee Based Consultants Earn Kickbacks From Carriers They Recommend?

“Don’t ask and we won’t tell” is extended to read “Don’t ask and we won’t tell, and if you ask, we still won’t tell. And if you are really, really curious you might ask your consultant and maybe he will tell.”

Below is an actual section of an Administration Agreement from one of the BUCA’s”

BROKER/CONSULTANT COMPENSATION: 

“The employer acknowledges that if any broker/consultant acts on its behalf for purposes of purchasing services in connection with the Employer’s Plan under the Agreement, the Claim Administrator may pay the Employer’s broker/consultant a commission and/or other compensation in connection with such services under the Agreement. If the Employer desires additional information regarding commissions and/or other compensation paid the broker/consultant by the Claim Administrator in connection with services under the Agreement, the Employer should contact its broker/consultant.”

Shrouded in secrecy, a $10,000 kickback to a consultant can mean the difference between victory or defeat in a competitive world. Seeking out vulnerable consultants is the challenge.

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