The Iowa Insurance Division is warning that a health plan that looks too good to be true probably is. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Terri Vaughan says some questionable notices offer a discount plan to consumers interested in getting a break on health care services. Vaughan says around 100 consumers have called her department in the last month, asking if this is health insurance or an offer of some kind of genuine service. She says it looks a lot like health insurance and talks about deductibles and preexisting conditions, but it costs only 89-dollars a month and the commissioner says flatly “It’s not health insurance.” The program at best may be some kind of discount arrangement that will try to offer consumers a small percentage off what a doctor would charge for a visit. But with no insurance coverage involved, any serious injury or illness would mean skyrocketing medical bills that wouldn’t be covered by the plan. Vaughan advises consumers to take a careful look at anything they’re thinking of buying and make sure they understand it. If you see something priced really low compared to normal costs for a product like real health insurance, or see ads that don’t mention the name of the insurance company, she says these are indications you should look more carefully. Vaughn says you can always call the state insurance bureau for advice on anything that looks like a good program or offer. The office can tell you whether the agent or company is licensed to do business in Iowa, and that’s the first step to making sure it’s a credible plan. You can reach the state insurance commissioner’s office at (877) 955-1212.
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