Tuesday, July 13, 2010

PS Family Healthcare Is Not Health Insurance

This recent ad from the Star Tribune isn't quite as bad as the one for the Universal Health Card, but it's close.

Ad with a smiling family and the headline, Finally, Affordable Healthcare!
It doesn't threaten readers with a contrived cut-off date for signing up, and it doesn't lead the gullible to believe the service is free (rather than that the first month is free), as in the case of the UHC.

The PS Family Healthcare product, however, is more expensive than the UHC ($59.93 per month vs. $49). And both are basically money for nothing, since it's fairly common to get a discount for paying cash for health care.

Like the UHC ad, PS Family Healthcare includes small print pointing out that the product is not actually insurance, and it even uses the word "discount," which alludes to the true nature of the product.

Close up of the small print, which says This is not health insurance

Clearly, PS Family Healthcare has found a way to skirt consumer protection laws with its small print, unlike two other companies pursued by the Minnesota Attorney General's office. (Both of which charged a whole lot more money per month and used terms -- like "coverage" and "premium" -- that were even more misleading than PS Family Healthcare's ad.)

Despite the lack of interest shown by the Minnesota Attorney General so far, PS Family Healthcare is not allowed to sell its product in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina or Washington state, so that tells you something.

Another blogger named Neil Davis has already done the research on the confusing network of companies behind the PS Family Healthcare ads. As Davis writes, "What all this nonsense boils down to is that between you and your doctor there are many hands in the American health care system reaching out to skim off your money one way or another. Health discount cards are just one of the mechanisms for doing it."


Ms Sparrow said...

There should be a special corner of Hell for the slime-balls who prey on the poor and desperate!

lily of three said...

Thank you for your detailed insight.It helped me to know more about insurance vs discount service.

bevq said...

I am so thankful for your report on this, as I was considering this for our family next year. We currently pay $1000 a month and have a $5000 deductible -- I have not been to a dr in 4 years- we have no money to pay for a visit. :(

ANyone know of any REAL insurance that doesnt cost an arm and a leg and that has a lower deductible. We are down to 3 of us who need to be insured.

Ray said...

Thank you for the research on this scam, as stated by others in need these people need to have their insurance coverage revoked so they could understand what it is like for the people who do not have insurane, I lost my job and insurance for my family and have serious health issues. I was also thinking of trying this. "NOT NOW"

Ray said...

Thank you for exposing this greedy bunch of people, their personal inurance coverage should be taken from them to let them see how it feels to be uninsured and not able to have proper medical care. I lost my job and family insurance and was thinking this may be the help we need as we have serious illness in the family. I hope others see this before they are taken.

desiree said...

I just saw this ad in a GardeningClub magazine... Made me very sad. Check out Patient/Physician Co-Op -- www.ppcpdxcoop.org. I am a part of it and it ROCKS. It only exists in Portland, OR, Houston, TX and Hickory, NC so far... but hopefully it will take over the world! :) OK rant done.