Anthem Health Plans of Maine Inc. agreed to pay a $225,000 civil penalty as part of a consent agreement following an investigation by the Maine Bureau of Insurance into the company’s complaint handling procedures.
Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa announced that in addition to the civil penalty, Anthem is required to submit a corrective action plan to the bureau within 30 days of the agreement.
The bureau did a comprehensive review of Anthem’s complaint handling after investigators reported several late or missing responses, the bureau said in release on Monday.
Anthem “repeatedly failed to comply with Maine law,” which requires insurance companies to respond to the bureau’s consumer complaint inquiries within 14 days, the bureau stated.
“We expect insurers to respond in a timely and substantive manner to issues raised by consumers,” Cioppa said. “Failure to respond to the bureau’s inquiries is a serious issue, as it directly impacts our ability to assist consumers and protect their contractual and legal rights.”
Cioppa also stated that the bureau will be reviewing Anthem’s corrective action plan and will continue to monitor the company’s handling of complaints, to ensure that the corrective action has resolved the issue.
Anthem’s Maine operations are based in South Portland.
The bureau was assisted in the investigation and settlement of the consent agreement by the Maine Attorney General’s Office.