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If you’re looking online for health insurance, there are lots of results that seem to offer good choices. But dishonest companies are literally banking on your being confused by all those choices. So, before you sign up and pay, take steps to know you’re getting exactly what the plan advertised. Otherwise, your so-called “coverage” can leave you exposed to substandard benefits and costly payments.

The FTC says that’s what happened to customers of Simple Health. The company allegedly tricked consumers into believing its plans offer comprehensive coverage and are compliant with Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards. The company allegedly lured people in through lead-generation sites, using logos of well-known health insurance providers to make itself look credible. Simple Health asked for personal information on the site, followed up with phone calls, and pitched what it said were affordable, comprehensive, ACA-qualified plans with low or no co-pays or deductibles.

But once consumers signed up — often at premiums as high as hundreds of dollars per month — the FTC says they did not get anywhere near the full coverage Simple Health promised, and the benefits were not ACA-qualified.

Here’s how to protect yourself against false healthcare plan promises:

Research the plan to see if it really is insurance. Your state insurance commissioner’s office can tell you if a plan is legitimate and if it’s licensed at or Also ask the company for the details, in writing, of what you’re buying. If it can’t give you the fine print, walk away.

Be careful when giving out your personal information. A site might look legit, but some might be fronts for criminals waiting to steal your money and personal information.

Consider what others are saying. Do an online search of the company name and the word “complaint.” People’s reviews should give you an idea of the company’s reputation.

Educate yourself. Learn the difference between health insurance and medical discount plans.

And then file a report with the FTC if you know of a company posing as a health insurance provider.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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November 02, 2018
What about the new "health insurance scam calls" that have just began. So far they have all been from New Jersey area codes, with "disconnected" phone numbers, and all callers refuse to answer any information about the company.
November 02, 2018
I have received countless amounts of robocalls regarding medical insurance , it was typical terror and abuse. I filed a complaint with FTC. Calls stopped, but yesterday start again.
November 02, 2018
Thank you for this information.
November 03, 2018
I'm looking for health insurance, I put my home number in, and now I get at least 25 to 70 calls a day even after 9:00 pm...I've called the numbers back and most r invalid numbers. Help
November 03, 2018
I'm looking for health insurance, I put my home number in, and now I get at least 25 to 70 calls a day even after 9:00 pm...I've called the numbers back and most r invalid numbers. Help
November 13, 2018
Yes when will the robocalls stop????? This is ridiculous!!!! I've blocked so many numbers yet they call with a different number. They need to be stopped!!!!
November 16, 2018
What happens is when you input your contact info into a website whilst searching for coverage, that website sells your info to companies. It's put into a huge database, in turn you end up getting phone calls from multiple companies. If you can remember the website tell them to remove your info and by law they must do so.
November 19, 2018
I agree with Nick's comment these callers offering health insurance are a continual nuisance calling early morning to late evening. I have also blocked them but they call on yet another number - why can't FTC stop them?