Commissioner agreed to secrecy in settlement

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The Associated Press

ST. PAUL -- In one of his first official acts, Commerce Commissioner Glenn Wilson made a written promise not to tell the press or talk to national regulators about a $100,000 settlement reached with an insurance company accused of deceiving Minnesota seniors.

In a two-year investigation, the department under Gov. Jesse Ventura found that Texas-based United American Insurance Company misled hundreds of Minnesota seniors into purchasing supplemental Medicare insurance policies. A year ago, then-Commerce Commissioner Jim Bernstein lambasted the company in a press conference as deceptive and predatory for telling seniors they could lose benefits unless they bought the policies.

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But days after Wilson replaced him, the new commissioner signed a consent agreement with company officials in which the state got $100,000 but agreed to not call the money a fine. Wilson also agreed to several secrecy clauses.