The FTC has settled a complaint against two companies, Independent Association of Businesses (IAB) and Health Service Providers (HSP) involving the fraudulent marketing and sale of health insurance. As a result of the settlement, the companies have paid money to the FTC which is refunding more than 1.1 million dollars to those people who lost money in this scam. If you bought what you thought was comprehensive health insurance from either of these companies, you should go to the top of the this page on Scamicide and click on the tab entitled “Scam refunds” and then click further on the name of Independent Association of Businesses for more information about receiving your refund.
The way that the scam worked was that people looking for health insurance online found websites of IAB in which they promised to quote health insurance premiums once you entered some personal information. Then IAB employees would call the people who provided the information and pressure them into paying to become a member of IAB. They were then promised that if they paid an upfront fee followed by monthly payments they would receive a comprehensive medical insurance policy. In fact, what they received was not a comprehensive medical insurance policy, but rather a medical discount plan that provided few benefits of any value. The whole thing was a scam.
First of all, you should be very hesitant to provide personal information on line to a company about which you have little information. The risk of identity theft is too high. As for companies indicating that they provide medical insurance, you should first find out if they are a legitimate health insurance provider which you can do by contacting your state insurance commissioner’s office. You can get contact information for your state’s insurance commissioner by going to the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at http://www.naic.org. Finally, even if the company appears to be legitimate, you should check out the company’s reputation. A good way to do that is to insert the company’s name in a search engine search with the word “complaint” or “scam” and see what comes up.