Georgia Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine has signed a consent order directing United Healthcare Insurance Company, and sister companies United Healthcare of Georgia Inc., American Medical Security Life Insurance Company and Golden Rule Insurance Company, to pay a combined fine of $750,000 for delaying payment on thousands of health claims. Commissioner Oxendine said:
It is unfortunate that fines must be imposed to encourage compliance. Consumers and doctors deserve prompt payment. I will continue to aggressively pursue those companies who do not comply with the law.
To ensure managed care plans were complying with Georgia law, Commissioner Oxendine issued a directive in August 1999 that all healthcare plans licensed in Georgia would be required to submit claims data every quarter, beginning with the third quarter of 1999. Based on data submitted through March 31, 2009 by the fined companies, it was determined that the companies were in violation of Georgia insurance law regarding prompt payment of claims.
It appears that in the near future other insurance companies will be fined in Georgia. Consumers having difficulty with their HMO or with any insurer should contact Commissioner Oxendine’s Consumer Services Division at 404-656-2070 or 1-800-656-2298 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Persons may visit the Department’s Web site at www.gainsurance.org to obtain a complaint form and instructions for submitting it. It’s interesting to note that neither Alabama’s insurance department nor its commissioner has the authority to issue fines. Do you think maybe the Governor and Legislators in Alabama should change the law and allow fines to be levied?
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