United Healthcare hit with hefty fine

By Darla Mercado

Jul 25, 2008 @ 2:21 pm (Updated 3:44 pm) EST

United Healthcare Insurance Co. and United Healthcare of North Carolina Inc. will pay a $786,655.87 fine as part of a settlement with the North Carolina insurance department.

Greensboro, N.C.-based United Healthcare of North Carolina Inc. and United Healthcare Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn., had problems with settling and paying claims, thus violating state laws, according to the state insurance department.

This settlement wraps up a 2007 agreement between 40 insurance regulators and United Healthcare.

North Carolina did not participate in the 2007 agreement because it disagreed with a provision in it that barred participating jurisdictions from individually sending their regulators to check on the company. The state can now send its regulators to the company for inspection.

United Healthcare’s troubles go back to 2004, when North Carolina investigated the carrier after consumer complaints on claims handling were lodged.

  @IN Wire

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