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HPAE Challenges Meadowlands MEWA Application
April 24, 2013
Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT/AFL-CIO
110 Kinderkamack Road
Emerson, NJ 07630
For Immediate Release April 24, 2013
Meadowland Hospital’s newest foray into health care drew a challenge from the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), over the hospital owners’ application to form a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) sponsored by the hospital and Meadowlands Community Healthcare Trust. HPAE represents 350 nurses and healthcare workers at the hospital.
Called ‘TruPlan’, the MEWA is self-funded and exempt from many of NJ’s consumer protection laws. In addition, individuals covered by the MEWA are not protected by the NJ Guaranty Fund that would pay claims if the company failed. The TruPlan application was approved by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance on February 12, 2013.
In a letter dated April 19, 2013, HPAE President Ann Twomey asked the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) to revoke its approval, due to questions raised as to whether the applicant and the TruPlan trustees meet the character, competence, expertise and qualifications the law requires. Click Here for the Letter
Among the items raised by HPAE were:
- One TruPlan Trustee, David Girgis, responded ‘no’ to Question 12j of the Biographical Affidavit, regarding whether any liens had been filed against entities with which he was associated, As reported in the application, Mr. Girgis was employed at Meadowlands Hospital as Director of Compliance and In-house Corporate Counsel ,the IRS issued a Notice of Tax Lien against the hospital for over $1.5M for failure to pay federal withholding and unemployment taxes.
- TruPlan Trustee Daniel Prousline was until recently the General Manager of Vogster LLC, a video game development company which created games such as “Bleedout”,” CrimeCraft” and “Gang Wars”.
- Trustee Simran Rajani is owner of “We Will Win LLC” which sells tee-shirts on-line “to raise awareness about… injuries and illnesses that can destroy the lives of our youth”.
- MHMC has failed to pay health benefit claims filed by its employees despite the fact that the employees had paid their premiums and the claims were approved by MagnaCare, the third party administrator for the hospital. HPAE filed a complaint with the federal Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), and the EBSA is currently investigating the complaint. HPAE has said that hundreds of thousands of dollars in health claims have gone unpaid by the hospital. HPAE members have also filed a class-action lawsuit over the unpaid bills.
According to the application, TruPlan participating employers include Meadowlands Hospital and ‘Veritas’, and TruPlan intends to expand to more than 3000 members covered by local employers.