In November of 2018 I first told you about the Federal Trade Commission suing a Florida based company, Simple Health Plans LLC, its owner, Steven J. Dorfman and officers on charges that Simple Health Plans scammed unwary consumers out of more than a hundred million dollars through the sale of misrepresented insurance plans. The FTC obtained a temporary restraining order from a federal court in Florida shutting down the company while the litigation against it proceeded. The plans sold by Simple Health Plans were represented to be comprehensive health insurance plans that covered pre-existing conditions, prescription drugs, primary and specialty care treatment, inpatient and emergency hospital care, inpatient and emergency hospital care, surgical procedures, as well as medical and laboratory testing, however, the truth is that the plans were not even health insurance, but merely relatively worthless medical discount programs that effectively left consumers uninsured and facing large medical bills while charging as much as $500 per month for the plans. In many instances, the scammed consumers were lied to and told that the plans would cover their medical bills without any co payments or deductibles.  In order to make the plans look legitimate, Simple Health Plans falsely used logos of legitimate health insurance providers such as AARP and Blue Cross Blue Shield although they had no connection with these legitimate companies.  Now the FTC has settled its case against Candida Girouard who was the Chief Complaince Officer of Simple Health.  As a part of the settlement Ms. Girouard will cooperate with the FTC in its prosecution of the other defendants.

TIPS

Choosing and purchasing medical insurance can be confusing and difficult. Before purchasing any policy from a company with which you are not familiar, you should check with your state insurance commissioner’s office to find out if the company is properly licensed and truly selling insurance. For this information you can go to http://www.naic.org or http://www.consumeraction.gov. It also is helpful to do an online search using the company name and the words “scam” or “complaint.”

Here is a link to information about how to choose a medical plan. https://www.healthcare.gov/choose-a-plan/comparing-plans/

Here is a link to an article that describes the detail between health insurance and medical discount plans. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0165-discount-plan-or-health-insurance

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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