Santa Fe, NM – The NM Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (“OSI”) is warning consumers about deceptive advertising about health insurance. The advertisements claim that “Obamacare” or “Trumpcare” coverage is available, and ask consumers to provide personal information to obtain a quote for such coverage. These advertisements appear online, in mailings and on television, and seek to direct consumers to websites that are not operated by any federal or state health insurance marketplace. Once a consumer provides personal information to the advertiser, the consumer is bombarded with high-pressure calls to purchase a plan that frequently does not offer the benefits, protections, and financial help that consumers have the right to expect from their health insurance.
“Consumers need to be aware of misleading advertisements about their health insurance options,” said Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal. “If you are looking for comprehensive health insurance that covers the essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions, the best place to start is bewellnm.com or healthcare.gov. Financial help that lowers your monthly premiums is available for most shoppers.”
OSI is seeing an increase in these ads because it is the annual open enrollment period to purchase major medical insurance through New Mexico’s health insurance marketplace, www.bewellnm.com. Superintendent Toal encourages consumers to work with a New Mexico licensed insurance agent, broker, or producer who has access to the full range of plan offerings on the state’s marketplace. “Many advertisements push consumers towards substandard coverage. These solicitors do not present all of the offerings that are found on bewellnm.com or healthcare.gov. Shoppers are strongly encouraged to look at all of the insurance options available on the marketplace before they make a final decision.”
The open enrollment period for signing up for health insurance on www.bewellnm.com or www.Healthcare.gov is happening right now and lasts until December 15. You can shop for and compare plans on the marketplace to find one that’s right for you. You also can apply for free or reduced-cost health insurance. Staff at beWellnm can help you fill out an application or connect you to free local enrollment assistance. Virtual appointments are available now. Call 1-833-862-3935 to ask questions and get started.
If a consumer is concerned that they may have purchased junk insurance through a deceptive advertisement, please contact the OSI at (505) 827-4601 or file a complaint at https://www.osi.state.nm.us/index.php/managed-healthcare-complaint/