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Consumer Health Benefits Association / FTC Cases Opened - Unauthorized Charge to Credit Card

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I worked for a company for 27 years and was laid off due to a change in contract. I retained my health benefits during my six months severance period, but after that they ceased. I couldn't find another job and I couldn't afford the astronomical cost of individual health coverage, so I went looking for a more affordable alternative. That's when I found CHBA. They charged the credit card I designated $129.95 per month for their discount plan. I didn't have any health situations that required doctor, ER or hospital visits, but I did use it for prescriptions. It worked okay for that.

I got a job in April and became eligible for their insurance coverage on 7/9/2010. I called them on 6/28/10 to see about cancelling my coverage. They had already billed me for 7/2010. I expected this and was okay with it. They told me to call back on 7/20/2010 to cancel coverage before August was billed. I don't understand why I had to call back, but I didn't make an issue of it. I called on 7/20/10. They had a record of my previous call. They asked their questions, I answered them and they assured me that the plan was cancelled and no further charges would be added to my credit card. I checked my account on 8/2/10 and discovered that on 7/30/10, they had billed me for $129.95 again after assuring me on 7/20/10 that this would not happen. I called them immediately and had to leave a message. They called me back. They agreed that the charge was in error. The person I spoke with said she would forward it to a supervisor to be reversed and this would take 7-10 days.

I monitored my account, but the charge did not get reversed. It still isn't reversed. In the meantime, I have attempted to contact them eight times. Twice I was able to leave messages, but they were not returned. The other six times I got the VM message which listed their business hours and gave their web site as a reference. Then it said to leave a message including my name, group number, and issue after the tone. Then it said the mailbox was full and couldn't take any more messages. Finally it said, "An error has occurred."

My final call took place today. I dialed the CBHA toll free number and instead of getting their message, I got a message from the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC)! This message states that three cases have been opened againsts CHBA for false advertising and other offenses.

After listening to the FTC messages, I called my credit card company. I had already opened a dispute with them when I couldn't get through to the CHBA telephone number. My credit card company is taking the charge off my card.

If CHBA has defrauded you or owes you money, you may want to call [protected] and listen to the FTC message to see what to do about it.

Good luck!

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Comments

  • Ak
      Sep 02, 2010

    Addendum:

    On 8/31/2010, I was contacted by Tese & Milner Llp Law Office. I Googled them. This is a law firm in Greenwich Village in NYC. The guy told me they were participating in the actions against CHBA and wanted to know if I had cancelled my plan with them. I said yes and briefly told him what had happened to me. He assured me that he was noting that I had cancelled my coverage and I that I should receive no further bills.

    My credit card company reversed the unauthorized charge that CHBA made on 7/30/10 and is aware of the situation. So as far as I can tell, I shouldn't have any further problems regarding CHBA.

    By the way, here's a link to the FTC page that details that lawsuits that have been brought by them against CHBA:

    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/08/hustle1.shtm

    Good luck to you in straightening out whatever issues you may have with CHBA.

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