Is that health insurance website for real?

Shopping for health insurance online? Before making your final purchase – read on. Health insurance scams have been preying on vulnerable consumers through websites selling medical discount plans.

According to the complaint in a recent case FTC settlement, IAB Marketing Associates, LP et al., was a sham nonprofit trade association offering memberships suggesting it would provide consumers with a comprehensive medical insurance plan. Here’s how it worked: people shopping for health insurance online would come across websites quoting prices for health insurance plans once they entered their personal information. The websites acted like collection baskets: they asked for contact information, age, occupation, marital status – and whether folks had health insurance or pre-existing medical conditions. IAB’s telemarketers then called people who provided their information on these websites and used aggressive tactics to sell IAB memberships. As long as people paid an upfront fee and made monthly payments – both ranging from $40 - $1000 – they were promised a comprehensive health insurance plan that covered virtually every medical procedure and illness.

Or so they thought.

The truth? According to the FTC, consumers never were enrolled in a comprehensive health insurance plan. The IAB plan was essentially a medical discount plan, offering, if it existed, limited discounts and reimbursements on visits to certain doctors or hospitals. Many consumers who suffered an accident or illness were shocked to find that their IAB “health plan” covered very few, if any, medical expenses, leaving them with major medical bills.

Here’s how to insure yourself against this scam:

  • Be stingy with your personal information when you’re on the web.  When a site asks for your personal information, know that the data you enter could end up in the wrong hands.  A health insurance web site might look like the real deal, but many are fronts for criminals waiting to steal your money and personal information.
  • Research a company before choosing to give it your business.  Enter the company name and the word ‘complaints’ into an online search engine to see what comes up. And take the time to ask a company for the details – in writing -- on what you’re buying. If a company can’t provide the fine print, it could be a red flag.
  • Check available resources to find out if the plan you’re buying into really is insurance. Your state insurance commissioner’s office can tell you if a plan is not insurance (and licensed in your state), and may be able to alert you to a scam. Find your contact at or

If you suspect a health insurance scam, file a complaint online with the FTC, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.


I will say about some extra benefits from the health insurance
The easiest way to find Ohio Health insurance plans for your business is to go to the website of a reliable insurance agent that represents leading insurance companies.

This is very nice & informative post.

Thank you for sharing this useful information. It is actually a helpful post for the people who are looking for genuine health insurance company. It is always a great idea to research about the company and the services that they offer.

great article.

To whom it may concern my wife passed away in December 2008 of terminal cancer and I was the primary beneficiary now to make a long story short I sent my claim form in to Hartford and they did not respond back for 3 Mo so when I relocated from Moreno Valley California to Las Vegas in March 2009 I proceeded to follow up on my claim and when I call they told me that there were two policies submitted and I was not the beneficiary.. now I know that the statue of limitations might have expired can you please tell me what can I do at this time.if anyone can help me please give me a call at 702-xxx-xxxx or cell 702-xxx-xxxx thank you

You can contact the insurance commission in your state. If you're still living in Nevada, go to the Nevada Division of Insurance and file a complaint. The Division of Insurance can help you if a company is delaying or denying settlement of a claim.

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