NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – In order to protect competition in the elder care market, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has reached an agreement deal with UnitedHealth Group.
Schneiderman’s office had received complaints that by requiring skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to accept its separate institutional special needs (I-SNP) plan to be a part of the provider network, United was allegedly shutting down competition from alternative I-SNP providers.
These alleged business practices meant unlawful restrained competition in the market for certain elder and long-term care insurance products. The new settlement will preserve competition among I-SNP providers in the state, allowing for freedom of choice for SNFs and their patients.
“Our nation’s elderly, and those that care for them, face tremendous financial pressures at this time. Free and fair competition among service providers is crucial to ensure that patients receive the highest levels of service at the lowest possible cost,” Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to protect freedom of choice for New Yorkers who need elder and long-term care services.”
United offers a variety of plans in New York, including employer-sponsored and individual health plans. For SNFs to ensure their own financial stability, they must remain in-network for commercial insurance providers.