Shocking new documents reveal the way that health insurers and their business partners market junk short term and limited benefit health insurance plans as comprehensive major medical health care coverage. A recent report by Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey provides some good examples of this deceptive marketing. In addition, secret evidence uncovered in a case brought by the FTC against a seller of these plans, Simple Health Plans, shows the lengths that many sellers will go to deceive consumers into thinking that they are getting full coverage when in fact they are getting junk coverage.
Sellers of these plans pay for hundreds of lead generating websites. These websites imply that they are associated with major health insurers, imply that they offer full coverage, and are designed to get the contact information for people looking for health insurance. They often target people using search terms like Obamacare, ACA, health insurance, and marketplace. In addition, they often have names that are designed to imitate the official marketplace site.
Once a person provides their information, the calls start coming and aggressive telemarketers push health insurance plans. They have prepared scripts and some of these scripts have been revealed to state that these plans are comprehensive major medical plans with extensive medical provider networks. Many times the plans really are grab bags of crappy insurance products and discount cards that might provide a discount on a gym membership but provide very little coverage for anyone who has a major medical procedure. A few of the insurance companies involved in these schemes are American Financial Security Life Insurance Company, HCC Life Insurance Company, and Panthera Health.
When someone who has one of these policies actually has a major medical procedure, they find out that the coverage was not what they were promised. They can be left holding the bag on $50,000, $150,000, $300,000 and even higher medical bills. These numbers are real world examples from people that we have spoken with and from clients. Usually, they will receive confusing explanation of benefit forms from the insurance companies for months. Then, the debt collection letter start coming. These policies can leave people worried, stressed, tired, and broke.
At Johnstone Carroll, we work with people who have purchased these plans and do the worrying for them so that they can get back to living their lives. We represent people who have purchased short term health insurance, keep up with developments across the country, and publish articles and blog posts on these plans. Contact us if you need to talk about your situation or if you just want some information.