UPDATE 1-State regulators end UnitedHealthcare claims monitoring
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 standards."
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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