Avoiding Fraudulent Health Insurance

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In addition to understanding coverage, premiums, and out-of-pocket costs, you must also beware of health insurance scams.  Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself against fraud when you purchase health insurance.   

 

First, make sure the company is licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).  To verify a company’s license, contact TDI’s Consumer Help Line at (800) 252-3439 or visit TDI’s website at www.tdi.texas.gov.  Second, be cautious of a plan that offers great coverage at a low premium compared to similar plans.  Ask questions about coverage and read the policy before you buy.  Third, don’t be fooled by high pressure sales tactics.  Health insurance is a big purchase.  Take your time when you choose a plan.  Finally, beware of health insurance sold through unsolicited phone calls, letters, or emails.  Before you give your personal information or social security number to anyone, make sure the person or company contacting you is legitimate.

 

In addition to these tips, consider using a licensed agent or trying the new federal health insurance marketplace.  To find a licensed agent in your area, check the yellow pages, search online, or consult the Independent Agents Association’s website (http://www.independentagent.com/ContactUs/Pages/FindAnAgent/FindAnAgent.aspx).  You can also ask family, friends, and coworkers to recommend an agent.  To verify an agent’s license, contact TDI.  You may also want to consider checking the health insurance plans offered through the federal health insurance marketplace.  For more information on the federal marketplace, visit www.HealthCare.gov or call (800) 318-2596.

 

Report suspected fraud to TDI: (800) 252-3439 or www.tdi.state.tx.us/fraud/index.html.

 

 

Carey Olney

 

I joined OPIC as a staff attorney in 2011.  I specialize in life, health, and disability insurance law.  I know that consumers can find themselves frustrated with these insurance issues at very difficult times in their lives—during sickness, after an injury, and after the loss of a loved one.  I am grateful that I can utilize my expertise to educate and empower insurance consumers as they navigate these challenges.

 

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