The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a $10 million final settlement for a class-action lawsuit targeting UnitedHealthcare and its tiered reimbursement policy.
The lawsuit, filed in 2017, claims that UnitedHealthcare's policy reduced payments for out-of-network mental healthcare providers — including psychologists, counselors and social workers — by between 25 percent and 35 percent, according to a news release shared with Becker's from Zuckerman Spaeder, the firm representing the class.
The policy allegedly affected more than 110,000 patients.
The court approved a $10 million payout to affected members, which covers between 55 percent and 70 percent of the financial impact of the underpayments, according to the news release.
"For years, United used a tiered reimbursement policy that unfairly reduced benefits when patients obtained psychotherapy from out-of-network behavioral health providers," said Andrew Goldfarb, a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder. "United has not only eliminated this policy, but as a result of our lawsuit and this settlement, it will now pay $10 million to make up for these underpayments."
UnitedHealthcare had not responded to Becker's request for comment at the time of publication.