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Unpaid Insurance Bills Give Policyholders Headaches

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RALEIGH — Health insurance is not cheap for Natalya Karpinski's family of four. So she searched and searched before finally settling on The Fidelity Group, and a deal that was too good to be true.

A year and mounds of paperwork later, she's paying for her mistake. "They never paid, not one claim," Karpinski says of the company.

Karpinski was stuck paying $4,000 in medical bills, an unexpected expense. "I never, ever expected those kinds of expenses. Never, ever. It's just awful," she says.

The Fidelity Group is one of the insurance companiesN.C. Insurance Commissioner Jim Longsays illegally collected money from thousands of residents nationwide, including a large number of policyholders in North Carolina.

"At this point in North Carolina, we don't have an actual number on it," Long says. "We're still trying to contact people who bought this coverage."

Long says bogus insurance companies are not that uncommon, but there is one way to protect yourself.

"Call us," Long says. "We can tell you on the phone if that company soliciting your business is licensed to write in North Carolina, and if that agent is licensed to write in North Carolina."

Karpinski says she learned her lesson the hard way.

"I just had a great lesson," she says. "I just said to myself, 'Well, no more too good to be true deals.' I'm done with that."

In addition to Fidelity Group, Long is looking into The International Workers' Guild, and the National Association of Business Owners and Professionals.

If you have questions about your insurance company, call (919) 733-2032 for further information.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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