In a statement made to the LA Times by the past president of the California Medical Association Dr. Dev GannaDev, it was made clear that many of those who offer discount medial plans are essentially cheating those who can least afford it. Many of those who offer discounted medical plans actually disguise it as medical insurance in order to dupe the poor.
There is a huge difference between discount medical plans and medical insurance. Medical insurance provides coverage that will pay for the cost of medical treatments in exchange for a monthly premium. In fact, under certain conditions, an entire medical bill will be covered in the case of an emergency. However, this is not the case for discounted medical plans. They instead offer access to select medical providers who have agreed to provide discounted medical services to members of the plan. It is very likely that the difference between the plan and insurance could easily lead to an individual not receiving necessary treatment.
The state of Massachusetts was the first to fight against discount medical plans which portrayed themselves as something they are not. California has joined in and is working against companies that specifically lead consumers astray or who make ambiguous statements about their product. More than 150 complaints have been received in California alone about companies that are unlicensed, yet sell discount dental and health plans.
Those who are targeted first are the most vulnerable. They are often those people who can least afford a financial mistake and are actually looking for ways to save money. They often don’t realize the difference until they actually need medical insurance, at which point it is too late.
Certain companies do exist that sell legitimate discount medical plans. They are offended by the work of the California Medical Association against their industry. They will inform you of the fact that there are many legitimate firms out there providing a good service that should at least be considered.
It is refreshing to see that the California Medical Association is concerned with the best interests of California consumers and is doing its best to educate them so they make the best decision possible concerning the different health plan options that are out there. Consumers need to know and understand the different products and services offered to help with medical plan coverage. A well-informed public makes better decisions.