Patients denied mental health coverage win $13.6M in UnitedHealthcare settlement

Insurer UnitedHealthcare issued $13.6 million in payments to members who were allegedly illegally denied mental healthcare coverage, the New York Attorney General's Office said May 20.

The payments were part of a settlement UnitedHealthcare reached over allegations it denied outpatient psychotherapy coverage based on arbitrary thresholds and paid lower reimbursements to members for therapy provided by PhD-level psychologists and master's-level therapists, who are the main providers of that kind of treatment.

New York and federal law both require health insurance plans to cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment the same way physical health treatment is covered.

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