Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine levied a $750,000 fine against United Healthcare Insurance Company and its sister companies for delaying payment on thousands of health claims.
Oxendine said the firms were slow to pay about $20 million in health care claims.
The commissioner, a Republican candidate for governor, has fined several health insurance companies over the years, including United Healthcare, for the same offense. State law requires insurance companies to pay claims within 15 working days of receiving them, or to notify the provider or policyholder as to why a claim can’t be paid within that time.
United and its sister companies were fined $2.8 million for delaying payments on health claims in 2005. They were fined $150,00o in 2002
Insurance companies make money off the delays because they earn income from investing premiums.
Oxendine said of United, “We’re going to keep fighting them until they get religion. We’re here to enforce the law. We will not hesitate to fine them again if they are late.”
United Healthcare responded, “United Healthcare currently processes 97 percent of its claims within 15 days in Georgia. This settlement involves only the small percentage of claims not processed within 15 days. Timely and accurate payment is important and United Healthcare processes 99 percent of claims for its Georgia customers within 30 days.”