US: 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.

In addition to paying a fine to settle the case, UnitedHealth also agreed to cease its practice of requiring nursing homes to purchase multiple insurance products.

“Our nation’s elderly, and those that care for them, face tremendous financial pressures at this time,” New York Attorney Eric Schneiderman said in a statement provided to Reuters.

“Free and fair competition among service providers is crucial to ensure that patients receive the highest levels of service at the lowest possible costs.”

The New York case is focused specifically on so-called “institutional special needs plans.”

Full content: Reuters

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