by Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
In 2018, we told you about Simple Health, a group of companies that the FTC says tricked people into signing up for what the companies told them was comprehensive health coverage that met Affordable Care Act standards. Instead, people wound up with premiums as high as hundreds of dollars a month for coverage the FTC says was nowhere near the full, ACA-qualified coverage Simple Health promised. And as some of its customers were stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills, Simple Health collected more than $195 million because of its deception, according to the case.
Today, the FTC announced a proposed settlement with Simple Health’s Chief Compliance Officer that, among other things, would ban her from advertising, marketing or selling any healthcare-related products. The settlement includes a monetary judgment of $195.5 million, which is suspended due to the defendant’s inability to pay. The FTC’s litigation against the other defendants is ongoing.
Before you sign up and pay for health coverage, protect yourself by finding out what you’re really getting versus what the plan advertises. That’s info you can use in the Special Enrollment Period for health care coverage, open from February 15 – May 15, 2021, which we just told you about earlier today. And if you find out about dishonest marketing practices, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.FTC.gov.