* Probe triggered by more than 1,000 complaints
* Intesa received the RBM Salut earlier this year
* Intesa says standards have been improved, complaints have decreased (Adding Intesa’s statement)
ROME, November 26 (Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust authorities said on Thursday it had opened an investigation into the businesses of the RBM Salute Intesa Sanpaolo and Previmedical for alleged unfair commercial practices in health insurance services.
Regulators said in a statement that they had received more than 1,000 complaints about possible “aggressive commercial practices” by the two groups that had led to customers giving up the service and reimbursement they were entitled to.
Clients say they face requests to provide redundant documentation, delays in obtaining authorization for required care and difficulties in contacting call centers. Some failed to get reimbursed for their health services for no good reason, regulators said.
The regulator said it had carried out inspections at the headquarters of the two companies on Wednesday with the help of the Italian financial police.
Intesa Sanpaolo said the complaint was related to the period before the acquisition of RBM Salute in May 2020.
“Since that date, concrete steps have been taken to align the quality of service provided to customers with the high standards held by the entire Intesa Sanpaolo group,” said Italy’s largest bank.
Intesa said complaints had halved in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2018, with only 0.07% of customers being insured.
Previmedical did not reply to a Reuters email seeking comment. (Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, additional reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia and Valentina Za in Milan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)