UnitedHealth settles Nebraska complaints

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UnitedHealthCare has settled a series of Nebraska charges by paying the largest fine ever imposed by the state's insurance regulators. UHC agreed to pay the Nebraska Department of Insurance $650,000 to settle a barrage of complaints, largely related to its claims handling process. This follows a previous settlement in 2005, in which United paid a total of $62,500 to settle another series of complaints. Regulators had said that UHC had violated 18 Nebraska laws more than 800 times between July 2003 and June 2004.

Apparently, however, the health plan didn't get its act together. With complaints continuing in 2006 over chiropractic, mental health, newborn baby care, gastric bypasses and other claims, the Department re-opened its investigation. It found that UHC had delayed decisions unduly, made the wrong decisions about coverage and given bad information to beneficiaries. It also concluded that UHC gave the state inaccurate and delayed information, didn't offer adequate emergency services or mental health/substance abuse treatment in rural areas and didn't maintain a current list of providers.

To get more information on the settlement:
- read this Associated Press piece

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