Blumenthal weighs in on Humana

By Ashley Stinnett | Oct 2, 2009

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Friday sent a notice to five state health insurers asking them to produce materials they sent to their customers in regards to changes in Medicare coverage.

The investigation was sparked after Humana Inc. sent a letter to its policyholders requesting they oppose changes to their Medicare Advantage program, according to Blumenthal.

Blumenthal, along with state healthcare advocate Kevin Lembo sent a request to Aetna Inc., of Hartford; ConnectiCare Inc., Anthem Health Plans of Ct Inc., HealthNet of Connecticut Inc and UnitedHealth Group, Inc.

According to state officials, Medicare officials ordered the company to stop mailing the materials and launched an investigation.

"Health insurers must stop using seniors as pawns, scaring them with misinformation in mailings, to oppose cost-saving healthcare reforms," Blumenthal said.

"The health insurers are simply protecting their bloated profits at taxpayer expense if they exploit seniors with these cynical, self-serving tactics. Such deceptive mailings also may be illegal, which is why Humana's most recent letters are under federal investigation," he said.

Blumenthal added the state is asking residents to come forward with any false and misleading information.

Under Medicare Advantage, health care companies receive federal subsidies to provide supplemental health insurance to seniors receiving Medicare. The program was intended to lower prices through competition.

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