A West Palm Beach federal judge gave final approval to a nationwide class action settlement of claims against United HealthCare Services Inc., rejecting a challenge from 14 state attorneys general.
Under the terms of the settlement, health insurance giant United agreed to provide more than $200 million in coverage for the hepatitis C cure Harvoni. After the Coral Gables firm Rivero Mestre sued United for providing coverage of the drug only to policyholders with severe liver fibrosis, the company removed those restrictions.
United also agreed to remove a requirement that policyholders demonstrate abstinence from drug or alcohol use for at least six months prior to treatment. In addition, the settlement created a $500,000 fund to allow former policyholders who could not afford insurance to make a claim.
When class counsel notified state attorneys general of the proposed settlement as required by the Class Action Fairness Act, several of them stepped in to challenge it. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led the effort, with the support of the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming.