UnitedHealthcare Agrees To Pay $250,000 Penalty

David Mannis (802)-828-4872
Wed, 02/08/2012

UnitedHealthcare Agrees To Pay $250,000 Penalty to Resolve Allegations Related to Medicare Supplement Ads 

The Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration (BISHCA) has imposed a penalty of $250,000 on the UnitedHealth  Insurance Company, part of a negotiated resolution of administrative charges that alleged improper advertising practices by the insurer. “With the receipt of United’s payment today this matter has been successfully concluded,” said BISHCA Commissioner Steve Kimbell.

During the fall of 2011, United circulated and published advertisements in Vermont, using television, newspaper, and direct mailings.  Several advertisements referred to Medicare Supplemental coverage.  Following an investigation, BISHCA filed administrative charges against United last December, alleging that United failed to file certain advertising materials referencing Medicare Supplemental coverage with the Commissioner for approval as required by Vermont law.  BISHCA also asserted that certain advertising materials were deceptive and misleading.  “We were especially concerned when it appeared that United continued some of its advertising practices even after we had called attention to their noncompliance,” said Susan Donegan, BISHCA Deputy Commissioner of Insurance.

“The size of the penalty imposed on United is intended to express BISHCA’s concern with United’s alleged behavior,” Kimbell said.  “We are going to make sure that every insurance company advertising in this state follows the rules we have in place to protect consumers.”

United is licensed to conduct insurance business in Vermont and is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, the largest provider of health insurance in the United States.

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