Eight New York insurers have agreed to pay a $60,000 collective fine and will ensure their provider directories are accurate under a settlement agreement with the state attorney's general office.
After conducting an investigation into the accuracy of insurers' online directories, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found unreliable listings that wasted consumers' time and delayed access to care, reported WBNG.
"Consumers are entitled to accurate information from their health-care insurers, especially something as basic as whether or not their doctor is in their network," Schneiderman said.
The insurers (Empire HealthChoice, Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, HIP Insurance Company of New York, United HealthCare of New York, Oxford Health Plans of New York, United HealthCare Insurance Company of New York and Vytra Health Plans) must provide restitution for any customers who paid out-of-pocket expenses after seeing out-of-network providers who were incorrectly listed as being in-network.
In addition, the insurers pledged to keep their directories up-to-date by removing providers no longer participating in their health plans and correcting any errors concerning providers who are in their plans, according to the Greater Binghamton Business Journal.
Schneiderman also is requiring the eight insurers to prepare and file reports with his office describing their efforts to correct the directories, hire an auditor to ensure their compliance and track complaints regarding the directories' accuracy and document how they resolved each complaint, the Long Island Business News reported.