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Avoiding health insurance scams

Unlicensed health plans that do not meet Massachusetts standards for insurance coverage may attempt to take advantage of you. Learn how to avoid these scams.

Check to make sure the health plan is licensed

You should only buy health insurance from a company that is licensed by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. To make sure a health insurance company is licensed and the health plan is legitimate, call the division at (617) 521-7794. You can also file a complaint with the Division of Insurance online.

Beware of health plan promises that seem too good to be true

Unlicensed health insurance companies may target you online or over the phone. Don’t be fooled by health plans that sound too good to be true or that advertise a limited-time offer. Never respond to an unsolicited text message, fax, or phone call requesting personal or financial information. 

Recognize the warning signs of a scam, including:

  • Advertising that does not give the specific name and address of the insurance company offering the health plan
  • High-pressure sales tactics that tell you a low monthly price is a limited time offer and will expire soon
  • Telephone marketers who ask for your personal financial information in order to enroll you immediately
  • Companies that won’t provide any written information about the health plan unless you pay first

Don’t be fooled by discount health plans or cards

Don’t buy a discount health plan or card as an alternative to health insurance. Discount health plans may allow you to save money on some medical expenses, but they cannot pay toward your more expensive medical claims. These plans may look like cheap health insurance, but they are not health insurance and do not meet the Massachusetts standards or individual mandate requirement for health care coverage

Discount health plans and cards are not regulated by Massachusetts or federal law. Check with your doctor or local pharmacist to ask whether you will receive any real savings before you give your money or your personal information to anyone offering health care discounts.

Read the fine print before choosing a health plan

Always take a close look at health plan benefits and limitations before you sign up or pay any fees. That way you can see in advance if the plan is right for you and your family.

  • Make sure you understand what the plan covers and does not cover.
  • Remember to add up how much you will have to pay out of your pocket for deductibles and co-payments and items that are not covered. High out-of-pocket costs can soon wipe out the savings of lower monthly premiums.

    Where to find help

    Choosing a health plan is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you think you may have fallen victim to a scam or if you have questions about a health plan, call the Attorney General’s Health Care Helpline at (888) 830-6277, or the Division of Insurance Consumer Service Section at (617) 521-7794.

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