In recent months, thousands of Americans have received insurance cancellation letters offering them plans with ridiculously expensive new premiums. But those who trust their insurers to offer them the most affordable, most beneficial plan available should maybe reconsider that whole trust thing. As Talking Points Memo reports on Monday, some insurers across the country are sending misleading letters to lock people into expensive plans before they can shop around on the exchanges (which will probably, possibly, maybe work by November 30). In September, Washington's Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler told shoppers not to blindly trust the recommendations of their insurers in a consumer alert. "Don't just take what your insurance company says, make sure you shop around. You have the right to buy any plan inside the new exchange or in the outside market," Kreidler said.
Consumers in Kentucky were similarly misled by insurers, when Humana sent letters informing consumers they had to lock-in their old rate by September 20, nearly two weeks before Kentucky's state exchange opened. Humana was later fined $65,000 by the state for sending "misleading" letter. "They are not giving people the ability to make an informed choice, because the information is not yet out there," Ray Brundige, who received one of those letters, told USA Today in September. "They're doing themselves and the community a disservice." Yes, the same insurers who rejected sick people with pre-existing conditions to maintain profits aren't above misleading shoppers.