Insurance scams, every year Americans aggressively receive calls, emails, letters, and texts telling them to act quickly to receive extremely low prices on premium health insurance plans for just a small convenience fee or telling them about how their discount medical program is better than insurance plans on the market.
Often, these plans and programs are misleading or false; persuading people into purchasing plans without the major benefits coverage that they require, or worse, they’re scams looking to collect unsuspecting people’s personal and financial information.
And although there’s an ongoing effort to eliminate this issue, the best thing consumers can do is to educate themselves on the common occurrences of these scams and how to avoid becoming a victim to one.
Something to look out for while interacting with an insurance agent through, call, text, or email, is to consider how aggressively they are pushing you to purchase your healthcare coverage through them. If they offer you better prices to purchase quickly or that having health insurance is required by law and the longer you go without it, the more likely you are to face legal repercussions; run.
These sales tactics are not only aggressive and unprofessional, but they are also more than likely attached to someone falsifying their identity to gather your information.
In most cases, agents will allow you time to think about your purchase, comparing plans that may also suit your needs. And although periods like the ACA’s “Open Enrollment” exist with tangible deadlines, the price of your plan won’t change based on when you purchase it within that enrollment period.
Another red flag to look out for is if your agent pressures you into signing up over the phone or by email. Unless you contact a Healthcare Marketplace agent to purchase your plan, insurance should never be bought without reviewing the plan’s benefits and being aware of the company you’re purchasing your policy from. Even when buying directly from the Healthcare Marketplace, it’s still important to be mindful of the benefits being purchased and the company providing them.
Which leads to our final point, which is research, research, research! Research companies, plans, types of coverage, and other aspects of the health insurance market so that you’re knowledgeable about the coverage you’re looking for before being contacted.
When you are contacted, ask for a copy of the policy before purchasing. If the company is one you are unaware of, do your research; see what people have to say about them and if they are worth considering.
If the agent claims to be selling insurance policies for a well-known insurance company, contact that company to make sure. Taking the time to go the extra mile and gather the necessary information could save you time and money later.
At the end of the day, making yourself more aware of the realities of health insurance scams and becoming more knowledgeable about the market is the best way to protect yourself against low-quality plans and people. And as we all become more educated as consumers, we fight back against those that aren’t after our or our families best interest.