This month’s glitch-filled rollout of health insurance marketplaces created by federal law opened the door for those who would seek to line their pockets by misleading consumers, the Associated Press reports. New Hampshire’s insurance commissioner sent a cease-and-desist letter last week to an Arizona company accused of building a website to mislead health care shoppers into thinking it was the official marketplace. The site was taken down. Regulators in Washington state and Pennsylvania also have told agents to change websites that seemed likely to convince consumers they were connecting to government-run sites.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners advised consumers that bogus sites have been spotted and warned people to beware of unsolicited calls by people claiming they need personal information to help them enroll in insurance. A state-licensed broker in suburban Seattle bought the domain name washingtonhealthplanfinder.org and built a website with fewer computer glitches than the state’s new health insurance marketplace, wahealthplanfinder.org. The brokerage’s site told customers: “Welcome to the Exchange!” in big print until the state insurance commissioner asked for changes to avoid confusion.