UnitedHealth Group agrees to a $50 million settlement after investigation
One of the nation’s largest health insurers has agreed to pay $50 million in a settlement announced today after being accused of overcharging millions of Americans for health care.
The New York attorney general’s office launched an investigation after receiving hundreds of complaints about Oxford Insurance and its parent company, UnitedHealth Group, which claims to rely on “independent research from across the health care industry” to determine reimbursement rates. In actuality though, it relies on Ingenix, a research firm owned by UnitedHealth Group.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says Ingenix has been manipulating the numbers so insurance companies pay less. In a just-released report, he contends that Americans have been “under-reimbursed to the tune of at least hundreds of millions of dollars.” Although UnitedHealth Group and Oxford Insurance were the only entities investigated, other major insurers use Ingenix, including Aetna, CIGNA and WellPoint/Empire BlueCross BlueShield.
“This is a huge scam that affected hundreds of millions of Americans [who were] ripped off by their health insurance companies,” says Cuomo. “This was unethical, and it robbed vulnerable patients of insurance reimbursements they deserved.”
Read the full article from the Today Show.