We all know the cost of medical health insurance is sky high, which means during November and open enrollment people are looking at new health plans. It also means we need to be on alert for a health plan scam during our search. One example of a health plan scam is Simple Health, a company that used misleading statements to sell their products.
Know what you’re buying
According to the Federal Trade Commission, customers of Simple Health were led to believe the company was selling comprehensive health insurance. The company claimed the plans covered a variety of medical conditions, including preexisting conditions. Instead, consumers were purchasing a medical discount program or very limited medical coverage.
With companies advertising heavily during open enrollment, it’s easy to be deceived by ads and marketing materials. Be sure to get a copy of what a company’s health plan covers in writing. If their material isn’t written in plain English or is confusing, look for a different company.
Avoid responding to email or web solicitations
Search engines such as Google track our every page view, then turn around and sell that information to advertisers. Is it any wonder we are assaulted by online ads and email solicitations daily? Targeted marketing can help people find a legitimate company—or a health plan scam. That’s because the ads you see are from the highest bidder, not the best qualified. If you see an online ad, be skeptical if it’s not from a company you know.
Medicare recipients are not immune from a health plan scam
If you’re on Medicare, you could be targeted for a Medicare Advantage plan scam. Here’s an excerpt from the FTC’s announcement.
For example, one of the websites, www.trumpcarequotes.com, deceptively claimed to offer “Health Insurance for Smart People” from “the Nation’s Leading Carriers” at “Low Affordable Premiums” with “Prescription Drug Coverage.” Another Simple Health website, www.simplemedicareplans.com, promoted “Medicare Health Plans for Your Needs and Budget.”
If you find a company and a plan you like, be sure to check the company’s license for your state as well as the Better Business Bureau website for complaints.
Whether you’re looking for traditional health care insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan, be careful. Get the facts in writing, make an informed decision, and do not make a hurried choice. If you do find yourself having purchased based on deceptive business practices, read this FTC Consumer Information page about filing a complaint.