From The Vaults

Government Orders Insurers to File More Suits


The U.S. government is pressuring insurance companies to file more lawsuits.  Insurance companies who participate in the Government Employee Health Benefit Program (GEHBP) are sending letters to all of their customers who have had medical expenses paid for by the insurance company if the medical treatment was made necessary by an injury.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) manages the GEHBP on behalf of most federal employees and retirees.  It’s the program by which the federal government buys insurance for its employees.  The government pays a fixed amount of the insurance premium, regardless of which insurance company the employee chooses.  The employee pays the rest of the premium, paying more if the employee desires higher levels of coverage.

OPM has directed all insurance companies that participate in the program to ask all of their injured customers if there is anyone the insurance company could possibly sue to recover at least part of the cost of paying for the customer’s medical treatment.  The letters come with a form to fill out that asks for the names and addresses of everyone (individuals and companies) who could possibly be sued in connection with the injuries.

Obviously, trial lawyers will greatly benefit from this government directive.  Insurance companies may gain on one end but lose on the other.  The health insurance division of companies will receive money at the expense of the auto, homeowners’, and other liability insurance divisions of the companies.  Companies that specialize in health insurance will gain, while companies that sell only liability insurance will be forced to pay.

Individuals will also be targeted by these government-mandated lawsuits.  People and businesses who either have no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover the injuries for which they will be held liable in these suits will be forced to pay.


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