New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 6/30/2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NYLCARE FINED $100,000 FOR CONSUMER VIOLATIONS
Largest Fine for Failing to Respond to Consumer Complaints

            Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today announced that the Department has fined NYLCare Health Plans of New York, Inc. for failure to respond to Department requests for information regarding consumer complaints in a timely fashion. NYLCare has paid the $100,000 fine which represents the largest single fine paid by an HMO for failure to respond to consumer complaints.

            "The Department will not tolerate unfair trade practices by insurers," said Levin. "Insurers are required to provide timely responses to consumer complaints. This penalty serves as a warning that such conduct will be dealt with seriously."

            In more than 400 instances from January 1998 through September 1999, NYLCare failed to respond to Department requests for information on consumer complaints within the time period specified in the Insurance Law. By signing the stipulation, NYLCare agrees to put corrective measures in place to prevent future violations.

            The Department’s Consumer Services Bureau handled more than 60,000 complaints last year from both consumers and providers on various insurance issues. Consumers who have a complaint can call the Department’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3736.
 


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