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The financially struggling insurer Neighborhood Health Plan is offering unusual money-back guarantees to attract new business.

Neighborhood Health said Thursday that if it failed to answer customer calls and pay claims quickly, it would refund up to $20,000 to employers with 100 to 500 workers that sign up for its insurance. For employers with at least 500 workers, it would pay back up to $50,000.

Neighborhood Health’s customer service and claims departments will determine if the goals have been met, in part by relying on member surveys. The payments would be made annually.

The Somerville-based insurer, owned by the large hospital system Partners HealthCare, has primarily served low-income people covered by the state Medicaid program. But amid ongoing financial losses, the company recently told the Globe that it will reduce its participation in Medicaid and aggressively try to expand its base of members who have commercial insurance through their employers. Commercially insured members are more profitable for insurers than people on Medicaid.


Neighborhood Health said it’s committed to answering 80 percent of customer calls within 30 seconds; resolving nearly 90 percent of member issues during their first calls; and accurately processing 90 percent of claims within 10 business days.

Its chief commercial officer, Katie Catlender, said that Neighborhood Health is the first in the nation to offer such a money-back guarantee. While people shopping for insurance typically focus on prices, “there’s other things as important to customers as price, and customer service is one of those,” she said. “That’s a really important feature for a health plan to have.”

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey
. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.