Excerpt from the Federal Trade Commission article "Is That Health Insurance, a Health Product, or a Scam?"
Looking for health insurance can be confusing. But if you run across a company that deliberately tricks you into signing up for insurance or health products that don’t deliver (and are hard to cancel), it’s even harder.
According to the FTC, Benefytt Technologies, Inc. and its partners did just that — tricking people into believing they could get Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant health insurance, or health products with the same benefits as ACA insurance.
But wait, there’s more. The FTC says Benefytt also often charged peopleseparate fees for add-on health products…which people didn’t know about or want. And hadn’t agreed to buy. And if they called to cancel the not-really-ACA-compliant health insurance or product, manystill kept getting bills for those add-on products.
So, what if you bought “insurance” from Benefytt and now need a real, ACA-compliant plan? Well, as part of the settlement, Benefytt must tell its customers how to cancel their plan — and tell customers how to take advantage of a special enrollment period to sign up for real, ACA-qualified health insurance. So, if you know someone who has a Benefytt product, please pass this news on to them.
Before signing up for health insurance:
- Compare plans, coverage, and prices at a trusted source. HealthCare.gov and state marketplaces are the first stop for information about comprehensive, ACA-compliant health insurance coverage.
- Research any company offering health coverage or products. Search online for the name of the company plus “complaint,” “scam,” or “fraud.” Read reviews and see what others have to say. Check with your state insurance commissioner’s office to find out if there are complaints.
- Ask for info in writing. Is the plan really comprehensive health insurance? Does it offer the coverage you need? What’s the total cost? Are there caps or limitations to coverage?
If you spotted a health care scam, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Then, report it to your state attorney’s general office.