KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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UnitedHealth Fined $100,000 After N.Y. Investigation Reveals Anti-Competitive Practices

Meanwhile, the insurer warns that its rates in New York may be too low because of the failure of a competing company.

Reuters: NY Orders UnitedHealth To Pay $100,000 To Settle Antitrust Probe
The New York Attorney General has ordered UnitedHealth Group to pay a $100,000 fine after an investigation found the insurance provider engaged in anti-competitive practices involving elder and long-term care products, according to a person familiar with the matter. The settlement, which was signed late Wednesday, centers on efforts by UnitedHealth to force nursing homes to purchase other additional unwanted insurance services in order to participate in the insurance carrier's broader network, the person added. (Lynch, 1/7)

Bloomberg: UnitedHealth Says N.Y. Obamacare Plans Could Be In Trouble
UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, said its rates for Obamacare plans in New York may be too low because the failure of a competing insurer last year might lead to shortfalls in payments designed to stabilize Obamacare markets. In states like New York, health insurers participating in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act negotiate annually with regulators to set prices for coverage. UnitedHealth’s rates were set anticipating risk-sharing payments designed to stabilize the new insurance markets, William Golden, the company’s northeast region chief executive officer, said Wednesday at a state Senate round table in Albany. If the loss of a participant reduces the funds available to UnitedHealth, the company’s rates in New York’s Obamacare market may be insufficient, Golden said. (Tracer, 1/6)

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