How low can you go? In the wake of rising health care costs, high unemployment and general economic uncertainty, many people looking for affordable health insurance quotes are being preyed on by unscrupulous scam artists. These crooks offer cheap health insurance plans with unbelievably attractive premiums.
Often promoted as discount health care plans or discount medical coverage plans, these are fake companies set up for the sole purpose of bilking desperate consumers. They claim that the plans are accepted by hospitals and doctors just like traditional health care coverage. Unfortunately the people who purchase these bogus health care plans don’t realize they’ve been had until they go to the doctor or hospital and present their discount card for payment only to find it’s worthless. (Note that not all discount medical plans are fraudulent. Some do offer limited benefits such as discounts on certain tests or drugs. Know what you’re buying and weigh the actual benefits of any discount program before you sign up.)
Another current scam is an identity theft scheme that takes advantage of the new health care reform act to convince people on Medicare that the law requires them to buy a new Medicare ID card to continue receiving benefits. The con artists then grill their marks for personal information and secure payment for the “new” card with a personal check or credit card.
To avoid federal postal fraud laws, the scam artists frequently market their fake health care plans door to door, by phone, email or fax machine. Not surprisingly, they tend to target the most vulnerable: seniors and those with lower incomes. Typically, these fake health insurance peddlers are not licensed by the states where they’re running their scams. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several states are currently collaborating to investigate the proliferation of fake health insurance. To date, 24 states attorneys general have file lawsuits against health care fraudsters.
Every state has an insurance division that licenses and regulates the sale of health insurance coverage, and fields complaints. If you have any doubts, check with your state regulator first. When shopping for health insurance policies, your best bargain in the long run is to do business with a legitimate, established company. For example, you can get competitive health insurance quotes online at this website from top-rated insurers.