With all the national attention surrounding health care and its related issues, health care coverage continues to be elevated in the national spotlight.
Hot button issues such as health care tend to be a target of scammers in an effort to manipulate consumers into purchasing plans that may or may not be necessary, such as discount health plans.
Usually the offer refers to membership plans that purport to offer savings on prescription drugs, doctor and hospital visits. Many discount health plans are marketed door-to-door, over the telephone, through unsolicited facsimiles, and by posting advertisements in local neighborhoods.
Consumers should use caution when signing up for a non-insurance discount health plan and make sure to take as much time as needed to understand all of the terms and conditions before purchasing, modifying, or cancelling any existing insurance coverage.
Tips for Evaluating Discount Health Plans:
- Promotional materials should clearly and conspicuously disclose that the health plan is not insurance and that the plan only provides discounts from participating providers.
- The actual name, address, and telephone number of the administrator of the discount health plan should be provided.
- Do they provide a complete and accurate list of the participating providers within the plan in the consumer's local area and a list of the services for which the discounts are applicable through a toll-free telephone number? Do they update those lists at least every six months? Consumers should verify their local providers are members of the discount plan directly with the provider before signing up.
- Is the right to cancel the discount health plan within 30 days after purchasing clear and conspicuous?
- Do they have a written contract with each provider listed in conjunction with the discount health plan?
If you believe you have been victimized by a health discount scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.