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HealthNow Fined for Denying Claims from Women Seeking Infertility Treatment

HealthNow, a Buffalo, New York based insurance group, has been fined over $1 million by the New York State Insurance Department for denying claims from women seeking infertility treatment and failing to give legal notice of rate increases.

New York State law requires that infertility treatments be covered by insurance companies with few exceptions, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families. HealthNow must now reprocess and pay the claims for more than 2,500 women in Albany, Buffalo and Central New York. Most of the claims were for approximately $150, reports Albany’s Times Union.

“Infertility can be a very difficult experience. Women should not have the added burden of fighting for health benefits they are entitled to receive,” said Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo, according to the Ithaca Journal. “It took a lot of courage for one woman to come forward with her experience, but now others will benefit from her strength.”

According to The Buffalo News, HealthNow has cooperated throughout the investigation and will pay $600,000 in penalties for denying the claims and another $450,000 for failing to give the required 30 day notice of rising rates to clients, among other insurance law violations.

Sources:

National Partnership for Women & Families 7/23/2008; The Buffalo News 7/23/2008; Democrat and Chronicle 7/22/2008; Ithaca Journal 7/22/2008; Times Union 7/21/2008

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