The Arkansas Insurance Department recently suspended the license of a West Memphis insurance agent for not handing over insurance records, sparking a legal battle.
Matthew Glass has appealed the suspension to Pulaski County Circuit Court, seeking to have his license reinstated. A hearing date hadn’t been set as of early Thursday afternoon.
The roots of the dispute date back to the end of 2016, when an allegation surfaced that Glass enrolled at least two customers in Arkansas Works “despite the fact that they already had existing medical insurance coverage,” according to the AID’s order. To investigate, the AID wanted to look at the clients’ files.
Glass’ attorney, Nate Steel of Little Rock, told Whispers that the allegations weren’t true and that Glass tried to work with the AID for more than a year. Steel said Glass was “fully compliant with all rules and regulations. … The Insurance Department just didn’t understand how Arkansas Works is governed by Medicaid.”
Medicaid regulations are “extremely strict” and have guidelines involving its patients’ personal information, he said.
Nevertheless, an AID investigator came unannounced to the Southeast Insurance Group’s office in West Memphis, where Glass is president and CEO. The investigator wanted to review the customer files, and Glass said he wanted Steel to be there for any questioning or inspection of the files.
The investigator warned Glass that he could lose his license for refusing to allow the AID to inspect insurance records, according to the AID’s order. Glass, a member of the Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 class of 2012, held his ground.
Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr issued an emergency suspension order in January and a final suspension order on April 9.
Glass’ suspension will be temporarily lifted if he cooperates and allows the AID to inspect and review his insurance records. The final status of his license then would be made after an investigation and required hearing. If Glass decides not to cooperate, according to the AID, his license will be revoked in three years. He also faces a $10,000 fine.
“In my view, he was suspended entirely for the basis of wanting counsel,” Steel said.