Policy Buyer Demanded Refund

The worry over health coverage has many of our viewers looking online. Fact Finders found you have to be careful.

Mary Hansen says not long after an online broker sold her health insurance she suffered from nervous tension.
Mary says, "He really put a lot of pressure on me to get the money and once he got the account number to withdraw that amount then it was like he wanted to get rid of me as quickly as possible."

Nearly five hundred dollars a month automatically deducted from Mary's account by Health Insurance Innovations. The Better Business Bureau issued a consumer alert on the company for a pattern of complaints from customers claiming to be misled to deny claims.

Jim Hegarty of the BBB says, "You need to be really cautious dealing with any firm that's requesting permission to automatically withdraw funds from your account."

When the insurance card arrived for Mary she decided to cancel but says getting a refund proved difficult.

Fact Finders called the Nebraska Department of Insurance which in turn contacted the Florida-based insurance company. Within days Mary discovered nearly 500 dollars, the cost of one month premium, had been placed back into her bank account.

Mary says, "I’m ecstatic because I went with my instinct, and I called channel 6 right away, and they helped me so I can't thank you enough."

Health Insurance Innovations of Tampa disputes a pattern of complaints suggested by the Better Business Bureau. The company says that's due to an increase in the volume of clients and there are many happy customers. Also it acts like a middle man and shouldn't be blamed for denied claims.

The Nebraska Department of Insurance did not receive more complaints than what might be expected for a company of that size.
The consumer affairs division offers these tips and suggestions:

  • Exercise caution when shopping for coverage online.
  • Use the “company/agent search” feature on the Nebraska Department of Insurance Web site to determine whether company and agent are licensed.
  • Make sure you understand the different coverage options. A policy providing indemnity benefits does not provide the same level of protection as a major medical policy.
  • Take advantage of the trial examination period – sometimes called the “free look” period – to review the policy and make sure the coverage is it was represented to you by the sales person.
  • Call the consumer hotline at 877.564.7323 if you have questions or concerns.

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