PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --If you were a member of an insurance plan that was endorsed by Christopher Reeve, and included disability, accident, sickness, or travel insurance, and was sometimes offered as the HealthExtras Catastrophic Accidental Disability Program, the HealthExtras Benefits Program, the American Express Accidental Disability Plan, the Catastrophic Accident Plan, or the Accident Protection Plan, a class action settlement may affect you.
A proposed nationwide class settlement has been reached in Giercyk v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-06272-FSH-MAH. The settlement resolves all claims involving the sale or underwriting of allegedly invalid or illegal insurance covering members of certain benefits programs (the "Benefits Programs"), including (1) the "HealthExtras Catastrophic Accidental Disability Program," the "HealthExtras Benefits Program," the "American Express Accidental Disability Plan," the "Catastrophic Accident Plan," and the "Accident Protection Plan," as well as (2) any benefits program or memberships offering any type of disability, dismemberment, casualty, emergency accident and sickness medical expense benefit, or travel insurance, marketed or administered by HealthExtras, J.C. Penny Life Insurance Company, Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, or American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., among other financial institutions, or (3) that used the trade name "HealthExtras," including any such program endorsed by Christopher Reeve, provided, however, that "Benefits Program" does not include benefits programs or memberships received as an employee of HealthExtras, Inc. or Catalyst Health Solutions, Inc.
The defendants involved in the settlement are: HealthExtras, Inc., HealthExtras, LLC, Catalyst Health Solutions, Inc., HealthExtras Insurance Agency, Inc., Catamaran Health Solutions, LLC, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., American International Group, Inc., AIG Group Insurance Trust, Virginia Surety Company, Inc., Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., Alliant Insurance Services Houston, LLC, and Alliant Services Houston, Inc. (collectively known as "Defendants"). Plaintiffs claim that these Defendants (1) were responsible for selling and underwriting group insurance to consumers who allegedly were not members of a group eligible under state law to receive such insurance; (2) falsely and deceptively advertised such insurance; and (3) collected excessive premiums or fees.
Defendants deny these allegations but have agreed to the settlement to avoid the burden, expenses and uncertainties of further litigation.
Am I a Class Member?
You may be a Class Member if you paid for memberships or received any benefits from any Benefits Programs at any point between 1999 and 2014.
What does the Settlement provide?
The Defendants have agreed to provide a settlement fund of $15 million, which after deduction of attorneys' fees not to exceed $5 million, expenses, administration costs, and case contribution awards to named plaintiffs not to exceed $85,000 total, will be divided between two groups, depending on which insurers underwrote a member's disability coverage—the "HealthExtras Settlement Class" and the "Stonebridge Settlement Class"—and then proportionately distributed to members of the separate settlement classes who submit valid and timely claims. In exchange, Class Members who do not exclude themselves from the settlement release Defendants and certain other entities from claims arising out of the Benefits Programs or any of the Plaintiffs' allegations, and further agree to reduce any judgments or settlements with non-settling parties on claims arising out of the Benefits Programs or the Plaintiffs' allegations.
What are my Options?
To receive a payment, you must complete and submit a Claim Form by March 31, 2017. Claim forms and complete information are available at www.HealthExtrasSettlement.com.
You have the right to exclude yourself from the settlement. You will not get a payment, but will keep your right to sue Defendants regarding these claims. If you do, you must mail your written request for exclusion to the Settlement Administrator postmarked by March 10, 2017. You also have the right to stay in the settlement and object to any part that you do not agree with. If you do nothing, you will not receive a payment, but you will be bound by the decision of the Court and will give up your rights to sue about these claims.
For complete information on how to exclude yourself or object, visit www.HealthExtrasSettlement.com or call 1-844-245-3767.
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 2:00 p.m., on April 20, 2017, in the Courtroom MLK 2A at 50 Walnut Street in Newark, New Jersey 07101, to consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, any objections, and whether to approve the settlement. You may attend the hearing, but you do not have to. The Court may also decide to approve attorneys' fees, costs and case contribution awards. The motion for these expenses will be posted on the settlement website after they are filed. If the hearing is rescheduled, the new date and time will be available on the settlement website.
This is only a summary. For more information, visit www.HealthExtrasSettlement.com, call 1-844-245-3767, or write to: HealthExtras Settlement Administrator, Heffler Claims Group, P.O. Box 60167, Philadelphia, PA 19102.
Please do not contact the Court.
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SOURCE Golomb & Honik, P.C.