This office is currently closed to public visitors for the safety of customers and staff. The department will continue to provide services by email and telephone. Consumers with questions can call 860-297-3900. Insurance companies and licensees can call 860-297-3800 directly. Service of process on the Insurance Commissioner will be accepted Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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State of Connecticut - Insurance Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2020
CONTACT: Jim Carson, Communications Director
860-214-1539
Jim.Carson@ct.gov
 

Commissioner & Insurance Committee Co-Chair Warn Consumers
of Unlicensed ‘Health Plans’ and Unauthorized Products

Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais and Insurance & Real Estate Committee Co-Chair Senator Matt Lesser joined in issuing an advisory to anyone considering purchasing a Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSMs) product, discount, or risk-sharing plan to take the time to fully understand what they are and how they work before purchasing.

These offerings are either not health insurance plans, or they are unauthorized insurance products. They are not Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant and, unless they constitute an unauthorized insurance product, do not fall under the jurisdiction of state or federal regulators. The NAIC has a full description of these products.

In a true HCSM, members typically pay a monthly fee that allows them to submit qualifying medical expenses for sharing with others in the group. The group may pay part of a health care bill by sharing funds from other members. However, they are not legally required to do so.

“Consumers should research, prior to purchasing a product, if it comes with protections required by Connecticut and/or federal law and is marketed by a licensed insurance carrier or licensed broker in Connecticut,” Commissioner Mais said.

In 2019, Commissioner Mais issued a cease and desist order against a HCSM for conducting an insurance business illegally in Connecticut, and potentially placing consumers at risk.

“I’ve personally heard from constituents who have paid for products they believed were health insurance. These reports are alarming - and consumers should be on the lookout,” said Senator Matt Lesser. “Many of these products claim to be “Health Care Sharing Ministries” which are not insurance and may not cover needed medical care."

Consumers are inundated with increased advertising and marketing for products that may not be health insurance, are not approved or licensed in the state and may not have the required consumer protections under state and federal law. These products are being marketed on TV, the Internet and through social media and telemarketers.

Licensed producers, brokers and agents are also cautioned that under Connecticut law, any person who sells, or aids or assists anyone in the sale of, an unauthorized insurance product will be liable to pay any unpaid claims. In addition, any Insurance Department licensee assisting in any such sale will be subject to administrative action by the Department.

Anyone with questions can contact the Connecticut Insurance Department by email at insurance@ct.gov or by calling 860-297-3900.

Additional resources:

 
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About the Connecticut Insurance Department: The mission of the Connecticut Insurance Department is to protect consumers through regulation of the industry, outreach, education and advocacy.

Consumers with questions about their insurance can get more information by:
  • Email us at insurance@ct.gov
  • Ask a question or file a complaint online
  • Call the Consumer Helpline at 800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900.
  • Sign up for e-alerts to get the latest news, warnings and rate changes that may affect your premium
  • Download consumer FAQs on health, homeowner and auto coverage
  • Use the Department’s Speakers Bureau for public events.
  • Visit our Web site and follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube