About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Refunds for United customers

If you are a customer of United Healthcare, as I was, you may be entitled to a court-ordered refund of some of the money you paid them. At least that is my reading of a 16-page notice that came in Monday’s mail from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The court has given preliminary approval to a $350 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit. The suit claims that United Healthcare did not reimburse its customers enough for covered claims. United customers and providers are eligible to file a claim for reimbursement. Individual customers can file a simplified claim that does not require supporting documents. You simply tell them the number of years you were a United Healthcare customer, between the years 1994 to 2009. The reimbursement under the shortened formula is $50 per year, the average amount per year that the company cheated its customers.

United Healthcare was the health insurance offered here at the newspaper until 2001, when the company switched to Trigon and then Anthem. The switch was better than a pay raise, in my view. Few local physicians were part of the United network, so I was constantly paying bills that United didn’t. All of that ended with Anthem.

(The settlement web site is here and here. An earlier blog posting on United Healthcare can be found here.