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Blue Cross to pay $5 million for mental health fund

September 18, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island insurance regulators say Blue Cross & Blue Shield has agreed to pay $5 million following an audit that found the health insurer was incorrectly denying members medical benefits.

The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner said Monday the report found Blue Cross’s method of approving coverage was “clinically inappropriate.”

Instead of a fine, Blue Cross will put $1 million each year for the next five years toward a fund for helping people with mental health disorders get access to treatment.

The insurer said Tuesday it disagrees with how the report “characterizes our conduct,” and “we strenuously deny any wrongdoing or violation of law.”

Dr. Matthew Collins, a Blue Cross vice president, says he doesn’t believe any insurer has done more to improve the state’s behavioral health landscape.

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