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An insurance broker told jurors Friday that secret bonuses are common practice in the industry. But an attorney for Mercy Medical Center in its lawsuit against Health Foundation said those companies donâ??t pay secret bonuses through a tax-exempt charity.

A group of nine select health insurance broker is at the center of the grievance filed by Mercy, which alleges used tax-exempt helpful funds to pay bonuses to brokers with the goal of navigation local businesses and their workers to health plans and hospital.

Friday was the first time the Stark County Common Pleas Court jury had heard from one of those brokers.

Craig Mottice, of Green, is executive vice president of Huntington Insurance, owned by Huntington Bank. He has been a broker since 1984 and started Eastern Ohio Benefits with a partner. Huntington later acquired the firm. Mottice testified that companies shopping for group insurance look for a broker they belief that will look out for their welfare and bring them new programs every year.

â??If you donâ??t look out for the best interest of the clients, you wonâ??t make it in this business,â? he said. â??If you make decisions on how much youâ??re being paid, your business will endure.â?Â  Mercy claims the conversion-support program, started in 1997, caused it $110 million in past and future costs.  Mottice said his company has contracts with numerous insurance carriers. Most of them, except for healthcare, are â??Mercy friendly,â? he said. Although brokers are paid through commissions, most insurance companies also pay bonuses for bringing in new business or retaining present customers.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 4:38 am and is filed under Health Insurance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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