The government is investigating a major insurance company for allegedly trying to scare seniors with a mailer warning they could lose important benefits under health care legislation in Congress.
The Health and Human Services Department launched its investigation of Humana after getting a complaint from Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a senior lawmaker usually viewed as a reliable ally of the insurance industry.
"It is wholly unacceptable for insurance companies to mislead seniors regarding any subject — particularly on a subject as important to them, and to the nation, as health care reform," Baucus said Monday, disclosing the HHS investigation.
The Humana mailer focused squarely on the Medicare Advantage program.
"While these programs need to be made more efficient, if the proposed funding cut levels become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable," it said.
It urged seniors to sign up with Humana for regular updates on the health care legislation, and encouraged them to contact their lawmakers in Washington.
In a warning letter to Humana, HHS said the government is concerned that the mailer "is misleading and confusing" partly because the company's lobbying campaign could be mistaken for an official communication about Medicare benefits.
HHS ordered the company to immediately halt any such mailings, and remove any related materials from its Web site. In the letter, the government also said it may take other action against Humana. AP
Monday, September 21, 2009
Humana Sends Scary Healthcare Mailers to Seniors
Corporate America sure isn't doing itself any favors. See the mailer here.