Insurance agent banned in Maine after nursing home dental debacle
STATEWIDE (WGME) - An out of state insurance agent is in trouble in Maine. The Bureau of Insurance says he sold dental policies to dozens of nursing home residents but failed to deliver what he promised.
An online ad and pamphlet for Dental 2U promises, "The dentist will treat any dental problems that arise and will see a resident for regular oral examinations and teeth cleanings." But the Maine Bureau of Insurance says the 166 residents who bought the policy never got those regular oral exams, and in fact, never saw a dentist.
"It was very frustrating," Continuum Health Services CEO Venise Minkowsky said.
She encouraged residents to enroll in the Dental 2U program, but she later filed a complaint with the Bureau of Insurance asking the state to look into Paul Granzier, the Ohio businessman and insurance agent behind Dental 2U.
"What we found over time, he didn't have any dentists signed up. Residents who had dentures were getting no help taking care of broken dentures, and we had people paying $93 a month for services they weren't receiving," Minkowsky said.
Granzier told CBS 13 over the phone he had what he calls a "good faith agreement" with a dental provider. But he said he didn't have a signed contract even though court documents show the marketing of the coverage claimed Dental 2U had "contracted with a leading national mobile dental company to deploy dentists to visit the facility regularly."
He insists he never intended to mislead anyone. He said he couldn't get enough residents to sign up so the provider backed out.
"I said we were going to bring services to the nursing homes. Well, because of extenuating circumstances beyond my control, that didn't happen," he said.
The Bureau of Insurance says $162,000 in insurance premiums is being refunded to the residents who bought the policy.
"I really think he just put the cart before the horse as they say," Minkowsky said.
Granzier has now signed a consent agreement with the state. He's given up his right to sell insurance in Maine and will also pay a $1000 civil penalty to the state.
Even though Dental 2U didn't work in Maine, Granzier said he has 1500 elderly policyholders in four other states who get regular visits from dentists.
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