By Deena Beasley
Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. insurance regulators said they have
stopped monitoring the claims payment practices of
UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health carrier,
after concluding that the company had met all compliance
benchmarks set out under a 2007 settlement.
The oversight began after chief insurance regulators from
Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, and New York identified
areas of concern related to timely payment of claims by the unit
of UnitedHealth Group.
"We are continuously enhancing our claim payment processes
and customer service at UnitedHealthcare," the insurer said in
an emailed statement. "The collaborative work we undertook with
regulators in this innovative model helped create new best
practices, as illustrated by our meeting the performance
The company had agreed to pay over $14 million to the
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), a
multi-state insurance regulatory body, in 2007 to settle
concerns raised over the company's past practices.
Under the settlement, the NAIC monitored UnitedHealthcare's
practices between 2008-2010 against certain performance
standards. The company could have been liable to penalties if it
had not met those measures.
In an 11-page report released Friday, the NAIC said
UnitedHealthcare had met or exceeded the benchmarks, and no
additional penalties were assessed.
UnitedHealthcare will employ an independent consultant to
assist the company in the maintenance and continued improvement
of its claim payment process, the NAIC said.
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