Ark. to Receive $224K from United Healthcare Settlement

September 14, 2007

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman announced that Arkansas stands to receive more than $224,000 as a result of a regulatory settlement agreement between United Healthcare Insurance and 36 states and the District of Columbia over alleged violations of state law involving claims-payment services.

Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, and New York led the negotiations for the settlement. Claims handling and other state administrative practices of United Healthcare were reviewed through a series of state-led market conduct examinations, the insurance department said.

“I am extremely excited to see this settlement come to fruition,” said Bowman. “It shows what the states can do working together in a collaborative effort to protect consumers and maintain a strong regulatory system.”

United Healthcare has agreed to pay an assessment of up to $20 million to the states joining with Arkansas in the settlement.

In addition, United Healthcare has agreed to implement a detailed three-year process-improvement plan in regard to their claims-payment system, including quarterly reviews and yearly benchmarks.

In the event United Healthcare fails to meet the yearly process-improvement benchmarks, an additional assessment of up to $20 million could be levied against the company. Individual states will maintain the authority to investigate consumer and provider complaints, but will forego traditional market examinations.

Source: Arkansas Insurance Department

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