Health insurance companies have agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines to settle federal lawsuits that accused them of deceiving customers and selling the health plans to pay for the government’s health care programs.
The federal government said the settlements, filed last week in New York and Maryland, are worth an estimated $3.4 billion.
The lawsuits were filed by the U.S. Justice Department’s civil division and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Health insurers were charged with deceiving consumers into buying expensive plans that they did not offer.
A total of 1,092 companies were accused of misleading or deceptive acts or omissions in connection with the health care markets, according to the Justice Department.
The settlements include $1.6 billion in fines, $600 million in disgorgement of assets and another $400 million in penalties.
The Justice Department said that many of the companies have since agreed to improve their practices and to pay additional fines.