Jones Warns of Fraudulent Health Insurance Websites, Salespeople
On Tuesday, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) warned state residents about purchasing health coverage through fraudulent websites and salespeople, the Sacramento Bee reports (Buck, Sacramento Bee, 9/24).
Interest groups, private insurers and scammers have been creating websites that look very similar to official state health insurance exchange websites under the Affordable Care Act, which could result in confusion and fraud (California Healthline, 9/13).
Details of Warning
In a release, Jones said, "Unfortunately, as with any new program, there are those who will use the new system to take advantage of or rip off consumers" (Sacramento Bee, 9/24).
He said that consumers should "be vigilant about protecting their personal and financial information and verifying they are using official government websites or working with certified enrollment counselors or licensed health agents when shopping for health insurance coverage" (Department of Insurance release, 9/24).
According to DOI, some "red flags" of which consumers should be aware include websites or salespeople who say that:
- A policy's premium is "only good for a limited time;" or
- Applicants can be jailed for failing to purchase health coverage (Sacramento Bee, 9/24).
Efforts To Curb Fraud
Jones said that DOI already has succeeded in removing some misleading websites.
In addition, the department's licensing bureau has denied more than 150 applications for businesses with names similar to Covered California because they could confuse or mislead the public.
"My enforcement teams will continue to investigate complaints and tips, and work with local district attorneys to prosecute anyone who violates the law," Jones said (DIO release, 9/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.