State Shuts Down 10 Websites That Imitated CoveredCa.com
On Thursday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) announced that the state has forced 10 private websites imitating the state health insurance exchange to be taken offline, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
Details of Websites
The websites were run by private insurance brokers or companies and contained unauthorized references to the Covered California brand, such as the name and trademarked logos (Cadelago, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 11/14).
The sites also had domain names similar to the official CoveredCa.com site, including:
- CoveredCalifornia.com (Sasso, "Hillicon Valley," The Hill, 11/14);
- StateExchanges.org; and
- TaxCreditInsurance.com (Office of the Attorney General release, 11/14).
None of the sites was aimed at convincing users to submit private information (Lazo, Wall Street Journal, 11/14).
In September, Harris' office began investigating the fraudulent websites (Wiese, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/14).
All 10 websites were shut down after the state sent the operators cease and desist letters. Some of the sites now redirect visitors to the official exchange website.
In a statement, Harris said the fraudulent websites were created "in order to lure consumers away from plans that provide the benefits of the Affordable Care Act."
She said her office "will continue to investigate and shut down these kinds of sites" (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 11/14).
Harris' office also released a list of tips to help consumers avoid scams related to health care reform ("Hillicon Valley," The Hill, 11/14).
On Thursday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on Harris' announcement (Pringle, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 11/14).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.