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Univera to pay $21,600 in refunds to 29 customers who were overcharged

Univera Healthcare will refund more than $21,600 in premiums to 29 senior citizens in Western New York who paid too much for supplemental Medicare policies.

The Univera customers will receive refund checks that average $745, said Peter Kates, a spokesman for the insurer in Buffalo.

The Univera customers are among 497 policyholders of Excellus Health Plan, which owns Univera and Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Rochester. In all Excellus agreed to pay them $314,979 in restitution, with an average refund of $633.

All the customers receiving refunds had Medicare Supplement Plan A policies, Kates said. Insurers base their rates on the level of claims they expect to pay and then may refund some of those payments to consumers if fewer claims come in.

Kates noted that only 29 of Univera’s 18,000 Medicare subscribers in Western New York required refunds because they had paid too much under a state formula.

Statewide, the settlement directs four insurers to pay back $2.2 million to the policyholders. The refunds are for Medicare supplemental insurance products; distribution of the funds is scheduled to begin Monday.