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Coming Flurry Of Health Care Offers To Make Agents Wary

HARRISBURG PA – An e-mail was distributed Tuesday (May 18, 2010) from Florida, with a subject line that blared “Real Estate Agents Get Lower Health Insurance Rates in Pennsylvania.” Sound appealing? It’s not.

Be wary of such messages, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has warned.

Real estate licensees and others should be suspicious if someone tries to sell health care insurance they claim is being made available under the new federal health care law, state Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario said earlier this month.

Consider the text of the e-mail:

  • “New government health care reform helps real estate agents!,” it shouted.
  • “Get the most comprehensive health insurance available at the lowest rates ever.  These offers are especially for real estate agents in Pennsylvania.  Visit our easy to use website and start saving today.  It only takes a couple of minutes!”
  • “Fill out a simple form and find out what the health care reform can do for you!”
  • And then it added: “We also have life insurance available.”

The cover of the federal law is being used by scam artists, Ario said, to prey on those in need of immediate coverage and care. Scam artists have also set up toll-free phone sales lines.

“No business should be attempting to sell health coverage under the law just yet,” he added. “If they are, it is likely a scam and should be reported to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department immediately.” Its phone number: 877-881-6388.

“We understand the upcoming changes can be confusing. Consumers will need some assistance to understand their new options under the law. But (they) should be wary of any sales pitch or an offer to help them enroll,” according to Ario.

Even when health care reform insurance policies become available under the law – and that won’t occur until 2014 – direct contact seems unlikely to be part of the sales effort, he added.

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