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Connecticut Cracks Down on Illegal Health Insurance Plans

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The state of Connecticut cracked down on a number of unlicensed health insurance plans and agents this month. The Insurance Department issued warnings to consumers to check the licensing of any firm before doing business. The targeted illegal heath plans were primarily offered to small businesses through their professional industry associations. The health plans claimed that since they were not fully insured and operated in multiple states Connecticut’s strict insurance regulations did not apply to them. CT Insurance Department disagreed and closed the plans. A list of the approximately 40 closed plans is posted on the Department’s Web site. Since the affected health plans are offered in multiple states, consumers in other states may soon be dealing with similar actions.

But the news is not all black and white. This crackdown closes the door to some of the few remaining affordable health insurance plans for many Connecticut small businesses. Connecticut’s past legislative blunders in regulating health insurance are now costing its residents in sharply higher health insurance premiums. The illegal low-priced health plans are actually quite legal and well accepted in other states. The affected consumers are more likely to be irked by the “Big Brother” attitude of their government than by the fact that their health plan did not meet all applicable state laws. Most will be unable to find replacement health coverage in the same price range.

Tony Novak, MBA, MT, Online Adviser at MedSave.com suggests that consumers keep in mind the simple principal “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…”. There are no bargains or great deals in health insurance. If one health insurance plan costs less than another, that is only because it provides less coverage. Make sure that you know specifically what coverage you are giving up before enrolling in a low cost health insurance plan. As long as a plan is fully insured and the agent is also licensed and insured, then it is OK to save money by choosing a plan that eliminates coverage that you do not need. For example, if you don’t need maternity coverage or pre-existing condition coverage, then it is safe to buy a plan that costs only half as much as a health plan that does include this coverage.

Novak emphasizes that these buying guidelines apply to residents of all states, not just Connecticut. Unfortunately, too many small businesses buy the lowest cost health plan they can find without really understanding the reason for the cost difference or the risks they may be taking with the lower cost plan.

MedSave.com also adds that the Connecticut crackdown did not affect any of its health plans. All MedSave.com health plans are fully insured and licensed in the state where they are offered.

About the Author

Tax and Benefits Adviser
Freedom Benefits Association

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