CareFirst, Owings Mills, Md., has been fined $400,000 for late payments, improper claims denials and other violations of Maryland rules under a consent agreement with state insurance regulators. The 3 million-member health plan, which operates in Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland, acknowledged that it violated various regulations in 2001 and 2002 but said it has since corrected the problems. The penalty stems from a routine review and is unrelated to CareFirst's application to convert to for-profit status in a $1.4 billion sale to WellPoint Health Networks, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Regulators are expected to rule on the application this week. -- by Laura B. Benko
CareFirst fined for late payments, other troubles
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