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Unfortunately there are a lot of fraudulent health insurance companies out there. Usually, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. You will get what you pay for unless you do a thorough background search. If you do not do your research, you may find that your plan may be operated under an unlicensed insurer which means you can lose your coverage at anytime and be left with thousands of dollars of unpaid medical bills and scrambling to find new coverage. In order to avoid this, contact your state insurance department (www.insurance.naic.org/state_web_map.htm) through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, www.naic.org. Be sure to ask for references of the insurance company you are inquiring about so that you can find out how quick they were on paying claims, if they honored claims at all. The NAIC has developed a website for consumers to find information about buying health insurance; www.insureu.org. Check with the Labor Department’s Office of Investigations to see if the insurance company is under investigation. You may also want to check the ratings on your insurance policy in the Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best, www.insbuyer.com/insurancenrating.htm. You can also find a partial list of insurance companies under investigation on the Coalition against Insurance Fraud, http://insurancefraud.org/Hall_of_Shame_05/hallofshame_set.html.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|