For Immediate Release: Monday, June 3, 2013
CONSUMER ALERT: Fake Health Insurance Entity Targeting Ohioans
COLUMBUS— Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor has issued a cease and desist order to United States Contractors Trust (USCT) for selling fictitious health insurance coverage to at least four Ohioans. USCT is not licensed to sell insurance in Ohio and has also recently been ordered to stop its unauthorized insurance business in South Carolina, North Carolina, Vermont, Florida and Maine.
“Our mission at the Department is to protect Ohioans and take action against those who prey on innocent consumers,” Taylor said. “We urge Ohio consumers with information about this scam to contact the Department immediately.”
USCT is targeting people over the Internet with pre-existing health conditions that are experiencing difficulty finding insurance. Desperate to secure individual or family health insurance, the Ohioans eagerly completed contact information forms on innocuous-looking websites. The victims were then called by a USCT representative and eventually signed-up for what they thought was insurance. The victims agreed to have the monthly premium, ranging from $200 to $550, debited from their bank accounts.
The victims’ first few claims were paid but thereafter they began to receive unpaid medical bills and calls from medical providers explaining they were having difficulty processing the claim with USCT. When contacted by the victims and medical providers, USCT blamed the mix-up on computer problems and explained the matter would be resolved soon. This back and forth continued for months while money continued to be withdrawn from the victims’ checking accounts.
The Ohio Department of Insurance advises potential victims of this scam to take the following immediate steps: Contact your bank and have the automatic premium withdrawals stopped. Then call the Department’s fraud hotline at 1-800-686-1527.
Avoiding Health Insurance Scams:
If you believe you’ve been victimized by this scam, call the Department’s fraud hotline at 1-800-686-1527. You can also report it at www.insurance.ohio.gov. For the latest insurance information, you can follow the Department on twitter @OHInsurance and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioDepartmentofInsurance.
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