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Health plans: California fines insurers

Health plans did not meet requirement to pay 95 percent of claims correctly, regulator says.

By Associated Press / November 29, 2010

In this 2009 file photo, a pedestrian walks past the headquarters of the health insurer Cigna Corp. in Philadelphia. California is fining Cigna and six other health plans in the state nearly $5 million for not paying fairly and on time.

Matt Rourke/AP/File

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LOS ANGELES

California's seven largest health insurers face nearly $5 million in fines for allegedly failing to pay hospitals and physicians fairly and on time.

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California Department of Managed Health Care Director Cindy Ehnes says improper claim payments are burdening health providers as they struggle to stay afloat in a bad economy.

The regulator says audits found seven health plans weren't meeting a legal threshold of paying 95 percent of claims correctly.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California are being fined $900,000 each, and United/Pacificare is being fined $800,000. HealthNet and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan are being fined $750,000 each; Cigna is being fined $450,000; and Aetna is being fined $300,000.