Fake Insurance, Real Problems

Many rumors and accusations have been passed around about healthcare reform, but one of the most upsetting effects of the legislation is the rise in fake health insurance.

Here’s how the scam works: Door-to-door salesmen claim that health insurance is now mandatory, and then pitch “limited-enrollment” insurance with a time sensitive offer. They claim that their policy is exempt from Obamacare restrictions, and thus will be grandfathered into the new law.

Some of the savvier scammers even have toll-free telephone lines with operators, all to provide themselves with a convincing front.

But these health plans are bogus. Here are the facts:

No one will be required to buy health insurance until 2014. So there’s no need to scramble for a “limited-time offer”.

All policies purchased today comply with the 2014 regulations. Don’t bother looking for a magical plan that does not.

Anyone who claims otherwise is running a scam. That simple. While a legitimate insurance company might be selective with their facts to entice you to sign on, they will never misrepresent a law.

Fake policies aren’t limited to healthcare— any type of insurance could be fraudulent. Here’s how to avoid being taken:

Be wary of aggressive pitches. Salespeople want to sell, but if one beseeches you to “SIGN RIGHT NOW”, something’s fishy. Ignore the guilt trips: “I’ll think about it” is an acceptable response to a pitch.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Virtually no limitations, premiums close to zero across the board… watch out. Real insurers aren’t fairy godmothers.

Ask for a full explanation of benefits. If you can’t learn what a plan fully covers (from a salesperson or the company itself), back away. This is basic information every insurer must provide to their customers.

Research. If a company isn’t licensed to do business in your state, it’s fake. Google your state’s insurance division. They’ll have a number to call, or a searchable database of legitimate groups.

And remember: there are decent companies out there with plans that can meet your needs. You are under no obligation to go with the first pitch you come across.

Alexander Carl

Alexander Carl

I find it difficult to brag about myself. Too modest? Perhaps.

Anyway: my name is Alexander Carl. I am a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I spent four blissful years earning a degree in Communication Studies. Now I face the real world of economic downturns, student loans, and the absence of “academic” camaraderie.

Yet I refuse to be bummed. My economic philosophy is to live simply, save, and maximize whatever I can. Consumer culture is undeniably pervasive, but you don’t have to sell your soul to co-exist with it— there is great power from using your economic resources wisely.

I started writing when I figured out how to hold a pencil. Since then I’ve written short stories, poetry, screenplays, and have blogged. In fact, three of my screenplays have been produced into short films, two of which I directed. I’m no stranger to the media, having served as a DJ at a freeform radio station and worked as a crew member for live TV.

Pastimes include traveling (I’ll visit virtually anywhere), swimming, jogging, hiking, and hunkering down with a good movie.

Overall I’m a peaceful person, though not in a creepy New Agey way. I get my energy from music, good conversation, and the outdoors (I was an active Boy Scout, earning my Eagle). I consider myself “inquisitive” and “wry”, and for the sake of autobiography I’ll assume that I am.
Alexander Carl

Latest posts by Alexander Carl (see all)