Rich Collins Quoted in Law360 Regarding UnitedHealth Patients’ Addiction Coverage Suit

AGG Healthcare Litigation partner Rich Collins was quoted in an April 11, 2024, Law360 article titled “UnitedHealth Patients’ Addiction Coverage Suit Revived, Again.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently revived a proposed class action accusing UnitedHealth of wrongly rejecting coverage for outpatient substance use disorder treatments in violation of federal benefits law, finding the plaintiff plausibly alleged the insurer employed an excessively strict review process for those claims.

In Ryan S. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc. et al., the plaintiff Ryan S. argued that UnitedHealth applied a more stringent review process to benefits claims for outpatient, out-of-network mental health and substance use disorder treatments compared to similar medical and surgical claims. The plaintiff alleged that, in doing so, UnitedHealth breached the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, breached its fiduciary duty, and violated the terms of the plaintiff’s plans.

“We’re extremely pleased with the Ninth Circuit’s opinion, and so proud to represent Ryan S.,” said Rich. “It has been a long road, but our team remained confident, especially after our colleague Elizabeth Hopkins did such an incredible job arguing our appeal. We’re now looking forward to having the opportunity to litigate this important case on the merits in the district court on behalf of Ryan and a certified class of similarly situated UnitedHealthcare plan members.”

To read the full article, subscribers to Law360 may click here.