SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – The New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) announced a warning to consumers about deceptive ads about health insurance.
The advertisements claim that “Obamacare” or “Trumpcare” coverage is available, says the OSI, and ask consumers to give personal information to get a quote for that coverage. These ads appear online, in mailings, and on television, and look to send consumers to websites that are not operated by a federal or state health insurance market. Once a consumer gives personal information to the advertiser, they are reportedly bombarded with high-pressure calls to purchase a plan that frequently does not offer the benefits, protections, and financial help that consumers have a right or expectation to gain from insurance.
“Consumers need to be aware of misleading advertisements about their health insurance options,” said Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal. “If you are looking for comprehensive health insurance that covers the essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions, the best place to start is bewellnm.com or healthcare.gov. Financial help that lowers your monthly premiums is available for most shoppers.”
OSI says it’s seeing an increase in these ad because of the start of the annual open enrollment period for New Mexico’s health insurance marketplace. Superintendent Toal encourages people to work with a state licensed insurance agent, broker, or producer who has access to the full range of plan offerings in the state marketplace.
“Many advertisements push consumers towards substandard coverage.” Toal says, “These solicitors do not present all of the offerings that are found on bewellnm.com or healthcare.gov. Shoppers are strongly encouraged to look at all of the insurance options available on the marketplace before they make a final decision.”
Staff online can help, according to OSI, fill out an application or connect consumers to free local enrollment assistance. Virtual appointments are available, and consumers are advised to call 1-833-862-3935 to ask questions and get started.
Concerns about junk insurance can be reported to the OSI at (505) 827-4601, or complaints can be filed here.
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