Leading GOP Senator Seeks Long-Term Care Insurer Data
Senate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week asked 11 long-term care insurers to provide information on their business practices in response to "troubling data," the New York Times reports.
In a letter sent to Genworth Financial, Conseco, Penn Treaty American and eight other insurers, Grassley asked for detailed information on the procedures that the companies use to process policyholder claims, inquiries and denials, and whether employees receive rewards for claims denials.
The letter cited data collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that found a 92% increase in complaints about long-term care insurers between 2001 and 2006. In addition, the data found that a majority of complaints related to claims denials resulted in the reversal of the denials.
According to NAIC, "This is a pattern of error not typically found in other lines of health-related insurance." Many long-term care insurers have announced plans to increase premiums because they underestimated the number of claims that they would receive. Genworth officials said that they will cooperate with the request from Grassley. Conseco and Penn Treaty declined to comment.
Grassley this week also asked the Government Accountability Office to examine whether the purchase of nursing homes by private investment groups has affected conditions and care provided at the facilities (Duhigg, New York Times, 10/3).