Junk Insurance Plans Target Unwitting Consumers

By Consumers For Quality Care, on June 23, 2021

Junk Insurance Plans Target Unwitting Consumers

After suffering from acute pain for two years, Betsy Hargreaves had a double hip-replacement, followed by a four-day hospital stay and physical therapy. While the surgery was a success, Betsy was left with almost $75,000 in bills.

That’s because, a few years prior, looking to save money, Betsy had switched to a nonprofit “health sharing ministry.” Despite looking and sounding very much like traditional insurance, OneShare Health is not an insurer and thus is not regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They denied her claim by classifying the pain as a pre-existing condition – a protection that is covered by the ACA.

“If I knew [OneShare] was this difficult and restrictive, I would have stayed clear of it,” Betsy said. “Now my stomach is in knots. It’s a big hit.”

According to The Boston Globe, more than one million consumers nationwide are enrolled in a health sharing ministry type plan. These associations have come under fire from regulators for aggressively marketing their plans and misleading consumers as to what is really covered.

No consumer should have to worry about bankruptcy because they sought medical treatment, and lawmakers should protect all Americans by putting a stop to predatory “junk plans”.