Delaware’s Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro launches a new national working group meant to combat the growing problem of fake health insurance companies.
Navarro chairs the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Antifraud Task Force. The NAIC’s Executive Committee and Plenary this week approved the task force’s new Improper Marketing of Health Plans Working Group.
Navarro says the increase of people seeking health care coverage during the pandemic has created a surge in scammers posing as insurance providers. He says the fake companies often collect premiums and then don’t pay up once the victim racks up a medical bill.
“People who have been scammed and who are on the hook for significant costs associated with being treated whether in hospital where it’s an emergency situation or a planned procedure,” Navarro said. “They are the real victims and we are trying to protect them as best we can.”
Navarro adds many pretend to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act which has recently been made more accessible through pandemic relief legislation.
“They’ll advertise under a look-alike that deliberately creates confusion—things like ‘Biden Care’ or ‘healthcare.com,’ where if you want to sign up for the ACA it’s healthcare.gov,” he said.
The working group has been meeting in an ad hoc fashion since March of last year with sometimes hundreds of participants from around the country. With its official approval this week its meetings will now be regulator-only.
The group will collect data and information on fake insurance companies that have been shut down to provide to state and federal regulators to try to create policies to stop the illegal activity.