Misleading marketing, insurance scams increase amid COVID-19 outbreak

More health insurance scams and misleading marketing for short-term health plans is cropping up amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud warned against scammers who are pitching low-cost coronavirus or COVID-19 health coverage, promising full coverage at low prices. The coalition also said there has been an uptick in robocallers falsely claiming to sell insurance policies.

To better understand the extent of the issue, the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy conducted a series of phone calls with health insurance agents and other salespeople posing as a 36-year-old woman seeking coverage because of COVID-19 fears. Researchers were offered several short-term health plans, with sales representatives saying all COVID-19-related costs would be covered despite documents that showed the coverage may not be as broad as promised. 

"The results of this collection of brief conversations raise concerns. Consumers seeking coverage for COVID-19 related care may find themselves exposed to significant misinformation about their coverage," according to researchers from the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy. 

More articles on payers:
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COVID-19: 6 updates for health insurers
COVID-19 could cost health insurers $93B in US, S&P says

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