Direct Med — leads you to believe they are insurance
I am about to graduate from college and desperate for health insurance and a job and was browsing online for insurance options. I received a call within 10 minutes after entering my info with US Health Benefits Group who says they are associated with eHealthInsurance, which is a reputable company so I took the call.
The agent told me I was buying a discount and I quote "insured benefit plan". He said I would be covered for primary care physicians, specialists, and prescriptions for copays of $20, that it was the same as a PPO plan, and that I would get this all for $124. a month plus a $135. signup fee. In my desperation for some type of affordable coverage I gave them my credit card number, social security number, address and phone information, as well as my driver's license number. I then received a confirmation email with temporary cards stating THIS IS NOT HEALTH INSURANCE AND IN NO WAY A SUBSTITUTE FOR HEALTH INSURANCE, which is when I realized my naivety and looked them up online.
I called the next day to talk to the agent who sold me the plan, who basically panicked and handed the phone over to his supervisor when I said I looked it up and no one accepts their card. I then had to call Direct Med directly and go through them to cancel, and after they too panicked that I had called them out on their scam, they played me back a tape-recording of my conversation the night before with a customer service rep stating that I did understand what I was buying.
The words "discount and insured benefit plan" sounded to me, and are probably designed to sound to the average person like 'health insurance plan', which is what I was led to believe I was buying.
They did refund part of my money, but I still lost the membership sign-up fee of $135.00.
Long story short, DirectMed is selling a bait-and-switch scam and preys on people desperate for affordable healthcare—those who can least afford to lose the money they are swindled out of in the first place.