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OXFORD HEALTH PLANS HIT WITH $3 MILLION FINE

New York state insurance regulators said today they have fined Oxford Health Plans Inc. $3 million because of the health maintenance organization's inability to pay claims on time and for other irregularities.

State Insurance Superintendent Neil Levin said Oxford also will pay an estimated $500,000 in restitution to customers and health care providers.

The fine was the second-largest ever levied by the New York insurance regulators and the largest ever against a health insurer. In 1996, the Prudential Insurance Co. was fined $5 million for the improper sale of replacement insurance policies.

Oxford executives and state insurance officials signed a document Monday in which the company agreed to pay the fine, make restitution and to improve payment and accounting practices.

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