UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, has agreed to pay at least $12 million to end state investigations into the processing and payment of claims.
UnitedHealth will pay that sum immediately to 36 states and the District of Columbia, the company said Thursday. The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company may have to turn over as much as $20 million more later if it fails to improve over the next three years, according to the company and state regulators.
The agreement bolsters oversight of the company, requiring quarterly reporting on compliance with newly established performance standards. Orchestrated by the National Assn. of Insurance Commissioners, the arrangement is a model for regulation of health insurers, UnitedHealth and regulators said.
"This is a historic settlement," said Tom Alger, a spokesman for Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss. "This seems to be a good approach toward looking at national companies with a lot of business across state lines."