The Richmond Register

September 25, 2013

State fines Humana over Obamacare letter

Associated Press

FRANKFORT — Officials with the state Department of Insurance have fined Humana Inc. after investigating complaints about letters sent by the company to policyholders about their options under the Affordable Care Act.

The Courier-Journal reports regulators called the letter “misleading” and have fined the company $65,430.

The letters were sent in August to about 6,500 people and said policyholders had 30 days to renew their plans for 2014 or they would have to choose a more expensive option that complies with the Affordable Care Act.

Insurance regulators said the letters didn’t make it clear that policyholders could wait and compare plans that will be offered on the state’s health insurance exchanges beginning on Oct. 1.

Humana spokeswoman Kate Marx said the company is working with state regulators and does not intend to appeal.

State officials said they are continuing to investigate whether the letter was intentionally misleading, but decided to fine the company because the letter “caused confusion.”

“The Department of Insurance fined Humana for providing members with a policy amendment form that was not approved. This was a clear-cut violation of Kentucky’s insurance code,” said Sharon Clark, Insurance Department commissioner.

“The Department has other concerns with the letter and with Humana’s actions. We have met with Humana and continue our investigation. We will take additional administrative action, if appropriate,” she said.

State officials say Humana plans to send out a clarification to those who received the original letter.