Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada's Third District sent the following letter to Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last night on reports that insurance companies are using deceptive practices to take advantage of families of fallen soldiers.
Below is the text of the letter:
July 29, 2010
The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Dear Secretary Shinseki,
I appreciate the work that you and the Obama administration are doing to improve the VA and provide high quality services to our veterans.
I write today to voice my outrage regarding an article published on July 28, 2010, by Bloomberg News, "Fallen Soldiers' Families Denied Cash as Insurers Profit." This shocking story outlines a disgraceful business practice by Prudential Alliance which allows the company to benefit monetarily from the death of soldiers while largely concealing this practice from the families of fallen soldiers. As you know, this article explained that Prudential appears to be holding funds paid for life insurance accounts from families and garnering significant income from interest payments, while paying significantly less to the families.
I urge you to conduct a thorough investigation of these practices as quickly as possible. I also support the VA considering future use of the Alliance Account program. I strongly urge you, furthermore, to take every action to ensure that families receive every penny that they deserve and prevent Prudential from retaining these unfairly and dishonestly obtained profits.
Please know that I stand ready to work with you on legislative actions to permanently prohibit this deceptive practice. The families of our deceased soldiers deserve much better.
Member of Congress