Having some form of health care insurance makes sense no matter if you’re currently employed, between jobs or retired. Otherwise you or your loved ones could spend decades paying off medical bills in the aftermath of a serious accident or life-threatening illness. Con artists know this. They’re masters at preying on the vulnerabilities of unsuspecting victims, especially senior citizens.
So how can you tell if a health care insurance policy is phony or too good to be true? Here are four warning signs:
- High-pressure sales pitches. A salesperson calls or emails with a “limited-time offer” for health care insurance. You’re asked to provide your bank account number or other financial information before a policy can be issued. Best advice? Hang up the phone or delete the email.
- Vague details. You talk to the insurance agent, but he or she won’t provide specifics about the policy. You can’t get facts and figures about benefits, premiums, inflation adjustments or other particulars. You’re directed to a glossy brochure or website for answers.
- Extremely low premiums. You know the saying, “You get what you pay for.” This is often true with health care insurance. For instance, quality health insurance can be expensive. That’s because legitimate insurers often pay the lion’s share of your medical bills. On the other hand, a scam artist, eager to make a quick profit, may leave you holding the bag.
- Super easy signup. You may not be required to take a medical exam or complete a health questionnaire to get this “great” insurance. That’s because the insurer doesn’t plan to make good on your medical claims.
Some people have discovered too late that their recently-purchased policy is riddled with loopholes and ambiguities. Promised benefits may never materialize.
Don’t sign anything until you’ve verified the company’s license with your state department of insurance. Report suspected frauds to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.