Govt Sets Consumer Rights in Healthcare Disputes

Wednesday, 22 Jun 2011 04:35 PM

 

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says most Americans soon will have the right to appeal to a third-party referee when their health insurer denies a claim for a medical service.

The rules released Wednesday carry out provisions of President Barack Obama's health care law. Insurers generally give customers a couple of chances to appeal internally, but access to outside review varies.

Consumer groups say it's a move in the right direction, just not far enough. For example, advocates wanted 24-hour turnaround in cases involving urgent care, and the rules allow up to 72 hours.

The rules take effect in January, except for "grandfathered" plans. Only a small percentage of denials are ever challenged.

A recent study of a sample of claims found insurers reversed their initial decisions half the time.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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