Consumers Beware Misleading Health Insurance Ads

By Consumers For Quality Care, on October 7, 2019

Consumers Beware Misleading Health Insurance Ads

As consumers grapple with the high cost of care, including high premiums and deductibles, many are looking for cheaper alternatives. In this search, consumers often turn to the internet to try and find plans that suit their needs. However, consumers may be misled by online health insurance advertisements, Axios reports.

Online searches for health insurance yield a number of online ads for “Trumpcare” insurance plans. “Trumpcare,” though, does not exist.

For people who buy health insurance on their own instead of receiving it through an employer, searching for a plan is already challenging. And deceptive marketing only makes it harder, especially when these plans will leave consumers on the hook for potentially ruinous medical bills.

The plans that are actually being promoted often offer bare-bones coverage, like short-term, limited-duration plans, association health plans and health reimbursement arrangements. In recent years, federal and state governments have loosened restrictions on short-term plans, making them much more widely available for consumers.

As Consumers for Quality Care has highlighted, these plans often have limited coverage and can leave consumers on the hook for costly surprise bills.

“These websites that are selling ‘Trumpcare’ are capitalizing on the fact that very few people know what’s going on,” said Louise Norris, an independent insurance broker in Colorado.

Advocates question the integrity of these misleading advertisements.

“It’s impossible to expect consumers to discern between the good guys and the con artists,” said Sabrina Corlette, a health insurance researcher at Georgetown University. “And it’s not the good guys that pop up on the first page of your Google search results.”

Consumers should always be diligent in their research and ask questions to try to avoid plans with limited coverage.