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.

1 Comment

  1. Steven Wyatt on September 11, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I think none of the questions being asked on the news are the right ones.People get health care by simply walking into a hospital without any money at all.The hospital will treat you even if you are broke but wait till you get the bill!I went to Cannon memorial hospital in Newland NC and got 7 stitches in my fingerand 2shots to numb it.I got the bill and nearly fell over it was 1700.00 dollars.This is what is wrong with health care. Paying what is fair is out the door it what they can get out of you with inflated bills.You will be charged with every thing they can think of even if you did not have it .I was charged 500.00 for setting of finger and they told me it would heal on its own and there was nothing they could do for the break.No one is addressing this problem .Medical fraud!