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Grassley Requests Information From Long-Term Care Insurers

Armen Hareyan's picture

Senate Finance Committeeranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week asked 11 long-termcare insurers to provide information on their business practices inresponse to "troubling data," the New York Times reports. In a letter sent to Genworth Financial, Conseco, Penn Treaty Americanand eight other insurers, Grassley asked for detailed information onthe procedures that the companies use to process policyholder claims,inquiries and denials, and whether employees receive rewards for claimsdenials.

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The letter cited data collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissionersthat found a 92% increase in complaints about long-term care insurersbetween 2001 and 2006. In addition, the data found that a majority ofcomplaints related to claims denials resulted in the reversal of thedenials. According to NAIC, "This is a pattern of error not typicallyfound in other lines of health-related insurance."

Many long-term careinsurers have announced plans to increase premiums because theyunderestimated the number of claims that they would receive. Genworthofficials said that they will cooperate with the request from Grassley.Conseco and Penn Treaty declined to comment. Grassley this week alsoasked the Government Accountability Officeto examine whether the purchase of nursing homes by private investmentgroups has affected conditions and care provided at the facilities(Duhigg, New York Times, 10/3).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.