Students Shortchanged, Aetna Pays

A Hartford-based health insurer will pay more than $5 million to thousands of college students across the country who were shortchanged on health care reimbursements, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said.

More than 73,000 students at more than 200 colleges weren't properly reimbursed for out-of-network care, according to the settlement.

Aetna's subsidiary, Aetna Student Health, used an outdated reimbursement rate to pay students and doctors, Cuomo said.

The investigation covered payments for care between 1998 and 2008.

Under the agreement, Aetna's will also update the claims processing system for students.

"Aetna learned that Chickering, an independently operated subsidiary, had underpaid some student health claims from providers who were not part of its network," said Cynthia Michener, an Aetna spokeswoman. "The affected claims represent only 3 percent of the overall Chickering claim volume."

The miscalculations were caused by Chickering using old data tables, but the company has since corrected the process, Michener said.

Aetna also agreed to hire an independent examiner to monitor the company's compliance and training procedures. All Aetna employees will receive improved training on reimbursement obligations.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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