New York regulators have fined Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Health Plan $1 million for improperly denying state-mandated contraceptive coverage to some consumers between January 2008 and June 2014.
The New York State Department of Financial Services said about 1,000 people covered by the Rochester-based nonprofit health insurer did not receive coverage for contraception, as state laws require for most group policies in the state.
In a stipulation and consent order, Excellus acknowledged denying some claims due to coding errors, and admitted violations of state insurance laws for either not paying claims within prescribed deadlines, or failing to process in a timely way the grievances that resulted over nonpayment of benefits.
In the order, Excellus agreed to correct any outstanding deficiencies and to file a report by Aug. 22 with DFS on corrective actions.
The order also gave Excellus seven days to pay the civil penalty to the state.
The department said it discovered the errors with Excellus as part of a wider review of insurance companies’ compliance with state mandates that policies provide coverage for contraceptives and other reproductive health services.
In the wake of the announcement this week of the settlement with Excellus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement in which he said the DFS’s fine sends a “clear message that all insurance companies who attempt to deny or inhibit access to women’s health care will be held accountable.”