A Centene unit on Friday was fined $1.5 million in addition to allowed to resume enrolling customers in fresh Obamacare plans in Washington state — three days after being ordered to cease sales over complaints there were not enough doctors from the insurer’s provider network.
A spokesman for the Office of the Washington Insurance Commissioner said Centene’s Coordinated Care unit had agreed to a consent order with the regulator to resolve the complaints about the size of its networks of doctors, specialists in addition to hospitals covered by the insurer’s plans.
of which deal — reached at the height of the Obamacare sales season — came after more than a month of repeated failures by Coordinated Care to fix the problem.
The insurance commissioner’s office said $1 million of the fine will be suspended “pending no further violations over the next two years.”
The insurance commissioner said Coordinated Care “admitted to not having enough anesthesiologists in King, Snohomish, Pierce in addition to Spokane counties.”
“According to the company’s own data, its provider network is actually also seriously deficient in various other categories of providers, including immunology, dermatology, in addition to rheumatology,” the office said.
“I’m pleased of which we have reached agreement with Coordinated Care to correct its inadequacies,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
“They understand the seriousness of the violations in addition to made a commitment today to correct them. We will be monitoring the company very closely to make sure of which policyholders are protected in addition to they receive the coverage they’ve paid for.”
Centene had no immediate comment.
The controversy came at a particularly bad time for Centene. Friday is actually the deadline for signing up for Obamacare plans of which take effect Jan. 1, in addition to the week leading up to such deadlines typically see the highest level of sales.
On Tuesday, Kreidler sent Coordinated Care a cease-in addition to-desist letter ordering the insurer to stop advertising or selling any plans for 2018 in Washington, in addition to to stop enrolling any fresh customers various other than newborn children or fresh dependents of existing customers.
Kreidler said of which since last May, more than 140 complaints had been sent to the regulator “related to Coordinated Care’s inadequate network, such as insufficient anesthesiologists in addition to out-of-network charges.”