In March 2007, during the tenure of the previous Administration, the West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) Board of Directors recommended to the Jefferson Parish Council approval of a Broker of Record Contract with B&A Insurance Agency, Inc. with Wally Pontiff as the affiliate. This contract was approved by the Jefferson Parish Council in April 2007. The agreement included the following benefits: group disability, group term life/AD&D, voluntary life, employee dental and vision and all ancillary voluntary benefits.
This contract provided that, “Producer warrants…..they have not paid or agreed to pay for any company or person, other than bona-fide employees working solely for Producer, any fee, commission percentage, brokerage fee, gifts, or any other consideration….”. Amid media reports that alleged some fee splitting and commission sharing in this contract, the WJMC Board of Directors, through its attorney, demanded confirmation of any contract violation directly from B&A Insurance Agency, Inc. and Wally Pontiff. On Monday, November 9, 2009, the hospital attorney received written notification that B&A Insurance Agency, Inc., without any acknowledgement or denial of contract violations desires to cease its agreement as the Broker of Record.
At an official meeting of the WJMC Board of Directors at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 9, 2009, a resolution was unanimously approved calling for the Jefferson Parish Council to cancel the contract between WJMC and B&A Insurance Agency, Inc. and Wally Pontiff. Further, the resolution instructs WJMC legal counsel to investigate any claims that WJMC may have to recover premiums, in whole or in part, and other related matters.
The WJMC Board of Directors also took action to approve direct contracts with insurance carriers, based upon the recommendation of its insurance advisor, Sigma HR Consultant, in order to provide uninterrupted benefit options to employees.