• Report: #922700
Complaint Review:

United Healthcare

  • Submitted: Sun, August 05, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, July 26, 2013

  • Reported By: Lynn — Tampa Florida United States of America
United Healthcare
PO Box 6082 Salt Lake City, Utah United States of America

United Healthcare AARP Medicare Complete United Healthcare sticks it to patients and doctors on screening colonoscopies Salt Lake City, Utah

*Author of original report: It's About UnitedHealthcare, not AARP or "Obamacare"

*Consumer Comment: comment

*Consumer Comment: NO ONE should join AARP

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United Healthcare, and apparently other health insurers, are routinely denying the federal law requirement for providing routine screening colonoscopies without a co-pay to patients.

When I was billed a copay by both the surgical group and anesthesiology group, I first called them.  I wanted to make sure they correctly coded and submitted their bill to United, noting it was a  5 year "screening colonoscopy," with no pathology found, no treatment required, and therefore no co-payment due from the patient.  They did everything right, but when I called, they said: "This happens a lot."

I then called United.  They said I could file an appeal, but they had 60 days from the date of receipt to make a decision.  "If I pay my doctors on time, as I always do, and you decide you were wrong, will you refund my copayments?" 

"No.  Just don't pay them until you hear from us."

In the meantime, both medical groups were much more patient and consumer friendly.  They said they would wait for the results of the appeal, and I did not have to make the payments until we all heard of the decision.

Guess what?

On the final week United had to reply to the appeal, it came through by mail.

"We decided to approve your appeal.  We will make an exception for your situation, but we decided that our original decision about copayment is correct." 

Seven bullet points were added, each denying they were wrong and trying to make sure that their decision was an "exception."  

Indeed!  Their exception--and payment--was made because a consumer cited federal law to them, filed an immediate appeal and included copies of their own policy regarding no copays for colonoscopy scrreening.

AARP should be ashamed--more responsible--- than just granting a naked license and taking money for the use of its name when insurers behave as United Health has.

Further, where is the federal government's monitoring of private compliance with Medicare Advance Plans and the Affordable Care Act, the latter of which made this preventive benefit possible?  

My guess is fewer than 1 in 10 who face this same situation will appeal.  Hopefully, this Ripoff Report will send a message to other patients, to the federal government, to United Healthcare and to AARP.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/05/2012 05:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/united-healthcare/salt-lake-city-utah-84131-0362/united-healthcare-aarp-medicare-complete-united-healthcare-sticks-it-to-patients-and-doct-922700. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

It's About UnitedHealthcare, not AARP or "Obamacare"

AUTHOR: Lynn - ()

My original filing was critical of United Healthcare and the investor-owned health insurance companies, not AARP, the President or the Affordable Care Act. 

In fact, it is precisely the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") that legislatively requires health insurers to provide cost-effective, preventive services, like colonoscopies, without co-pays. 

United, and I presume other insurers, tried to ignore the law--and has probably succeeded in many cases, because patients don't know their benefits under the law.

AARP should be commended for supporting efforts to move the U.S. toward providing health insurance for all of its people. We are the richest nation in the world--and one of the last two not to do that.  The Affordable Care Act is the first, federal legislation in nearly a half century to move us toward that goal.



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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Jeanski - ()

Let me start by saying that I'm no fan of Obama and think he's one of the worst presidents ever. I also think the ACA is a big mistake and hurts more than it helps. I also cancelled my membership in AARP when it became obvious they were in cahoots with the White House.

That being said, I"m also a fan of critical thinking and checking your facts.  The ACA provisions for the IPAB specifically state the following:

"IPAB is specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care, raise taxes, increase premiums or cost-sharing, restrict benefits or modify who is eligible for Medicare."

I think the OP has the right idea and we, as consumers, need to be aware of what our policies cover. The we need to take action when we get screwed.

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#3 Consumer Comment

NO ONE should join AARP

AUTHOR: HarlandHarlan - (United States of America)

AARP for ObamaCare several times, clearly tying them together.

Further proof that they were working in concert can be found in recently released emails between the White House and AARP operatives.  As the emails show, AARP threw their tremendous power behind the legislation despite the fact they were getting calls overwhelmingly against it.

In fact, on September 20, 2012, Kimberly A. Strassel of the Wall Street Journal wrote:

"Thanks to just-released emails from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, we now know that AARP worked through 2009-2010 as an extension of a Democratic White House, toiling daily to pass a health bill that slashes $716 billion from Medicare, strips seniors of choice, and sets the stage for rationing.  We know that despite AARP's awareness that its seniors overwhelmingly opposed the bill, the nonpartisan organization' chose to serve the president's agenda.

The 71 pages of emails show an AARP management taking orders from the White House, scripting the president's talking points, working to keep its board in line' and pledging a fealty to the cause.'  Seniors deserve to know all this, as AARP seeks to present itself as neutral in this presidential election."

AARP refuses to take a formal position on the Independent Payment Advisory Board ("rationing board") portion of ObamaCare and even defends some aspects of the board.  Given the negative impact that the IPAB will have on seniors, this is unbelievable (but sadly, not unexpected).

AMAC is against the harsh provisions in ObamaCare that gives the Federal government complete control of our healthcare.  It destroys the best healthcare system in the world, takes 716 billion dollars out of Medicare, and has the power to restrict and ration our medical treatment.

AMAC is fighting to keep our right to receive treatment from our doctors without the interference of Federal bureaucrats.

Big government experiments like the "stimulus" and ObamaCare have only increased the uncertainty and instability, and are core reasons for the persistently high unemployment rate and why the household incomes of Mature Americans have declined so much.
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