“Affordable Health Care Plan”
“Pre-existing conditions? No problem!”
“No Deductible or Co-pays”
“Thousands of providers in our PPO network”
“Discounts up to 60 percent”
When claims like these pop up in the media, it may sound like health insurance. Chances are, however, it isn’t. Most of the time, the pitches are for a medical discount program. Medical discount plans can be useful for consumers looking to save money on health care. But, consumers need to be aware that they are not the same as health insurance. These plans do not pay any of your healthcare costs. Instead, they require you to pay a fee for a list of health care providers and sellers of health-related products who are willing to offer discounts to members of the program. Many medical discount programs claim to provide big discounts from hundreds of providers for a wide range of services — from doctor visits and dental exams to hospital stays and prescription drugs — but fail to make good on those claims.
When considering your health insurance options, know what you’re getting — medical insurance or a medical discount plan. If you’re not sure, check with the Arkansas Insurance Department to see if the company offering the plan is registered to sell insurance. If the company is not registered to sell health insurance, consider shopping elsewhere. Remember that if you buy a health insurance plan, it generally covers a broad array of services and pays you or your health care provider for your medical bills.
In contrast, medical discount programs offer “discounts” on some services, products or procedures. If you’re interested in joining a medical discount program, you should investigate the details before you pay any money. For example:
When it comes to your health care, we’ve got your back, Arkansas.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General's Office is here to help you obtain a successful resolution to your consumer complaints.