Fake health insurer still charging members millions, FTC says

The Federal Trade Commission said tens of thousands of people are still paying premiums to sham health insurer Simple Health Plans as its owner delays a hearing, according to court filings cited by the Sun Sentinel.

In November, a federal judge temporarily shut down Miami-based Simple Health Plans at the request of the FTC, claiming the health insurer made at least $150 million selling fake insurance. The commission accused the health plan's CEO Stephen Dorfman of misleading consumers to think they were buying comprehensive health plans when they were actually purchasing plans with no coverage for pre-existing conditions or prescription medications.

In a March 18 filing with the U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the FTC accused Mr. Dorfman of using "procedural maneuvers" to delay a hearing. The hearing could extend a court-ordered receivership of the plan, and allow customers to cancel their plans.

Many members are still paying for their plans, as Simple Health Plans' third-party administrator charged customers 165,798 times between December 2018 and February of this year. The charges totaled roughly $14.6 million, according to the filing cited by the Sun Sentinel.

The FTC is requesting a ruling on the extension from the court without a hearing, according to the report.

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