Class Action Lawsuit Brought Against UnitedHealth for Denying Mental Health Care
In March, 2019 a federal judge in Northern California ruled that a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group called United Behavioral Health violated its duty to provide coverage for people with mental health and substance use disorder needs covered by their insurance. As reported by MPRnews.org, the class action lawsuit represents about 50,000 people who were covered by the United plans between 2011 and 2017 and who were denied coverage for treatment of behavioral health and substance use problems. The suit accuses the corporation of limiting coverage for urgent behavioral and substance abuse issues and denying coverage for treatment of the underlying, longer-term conditions that led to the urgent issues.
Class action lawsuit brought against UnitedHealth for denying mental health care
The U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero expressed his view that the company agreed to pay for a “significantly narrower scope of coverage than is consistent with generally accepted standards of care” and that it was clear to him that their motivation was profits.
There are Federal and state parity laws that are aimed at making sure that behavioral heath needs are covered in the same way as physical health needs but there is skepticism among patients and healthcare providers that this really happens. There are lawsuits pending against other healthcare insurance companies for denying mental health and substance abuse coverage.
Click here to read the stories of people who were hurt because of coverage being denied by United Behavioral Health.
In a statement to MPR News, a spokesperson for UnitedHealth said: “We look forward to demonstrating in the next phase of this case how our members received appropriate care. We remain committed to providing our members with access to the right care for the treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders.” It remains to be seen whether the company will appeal the decision.
Seek help from a personal injury attorney
If you believe that you or a loved one was improperly denied coverage for behavioral health or substance abuse care by an insurance company and it caused damages such as overdose, lost wages, loss of consortium, and others; contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights today.
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