UnitedHealth subsidiary accused of overcharging for prescription drugs

Oxford Health Insurance, owned by UnitedHealth Group, faces allegations it participated in a clawback scheme to get higher payments for prescription drugs, Bloomberg Law reports.

A proposed class-action lawsuit filed Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York accuses Oxford of working with pharmacies to upcharge patients for specific drugs. Oxford allegedly charged more than patients would have paid without insurance, and then pocketed the difference between patients' copayments and the drug price. The lawsuit alleged that in some cases, the markup totaled 250 percent.

Oxford did not immediately respond to Bloomberg Law's request for comment on the claim. The lawsuit also raised questions of whether Oxford violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and racketeering law.

The lawsuit is the latest in a string of similar allegations filed against some of the nation's largest payers: UnitedHealth, Cigna and Humana. On Dec. 19, 2017, a federal judge dismissed 18 separate claims against UnitedHealth, OptumRx, Oxford Health and others named in a lawsuit alleging the companies charged members hidden and excessive fees for prescription drugs.

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