Washington, D.C. – In response to U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) recent release of an investigative report into online searches for health insurance, Google has removed false advertisements that aim to deceive consumers looking for affordable, comprehensive health insurance through HealthCare.gov. The online search engine has removed advertisements that falsely claim to be HealthCare.gov. This will help ensure individuals seeking health insurance coverage online are not diverted to websites that may be selling short-term, limited duration health plans, commonly referred to as ‘junk plans,’ that fail to offer basic consumer protections put in place as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), like protections from discrimination against pre-existing conditions.
“With consumers able to shop for health insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov through December 15, I commend Google for removing advertisements that falsely claim to be the website, but may lead to junk health insurance,” said Senator Casey. “However, make no mistake, false and misleading online advertisements for health insurance have been allowed to flourish as a result of action by the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress to weaken consumer protections. Until they drop their maniacal obsession with sabotaging health care for working families, I am warning consumers to make sure they are shopping for coverage at HealthCare.gov this Open Enrollment period.”
When short-term, limited duration plans could only be sold for up to three months, individuals and families could easily distinguish between health insurance plans that were in compliance with the protections afforded by the ACA and those that were not. That changed in 2018 when the Trump Administration began allowing junk plans to be sold for up to a full year – with an option to renew for up to three years. Now, it is easier for junk plans to be marketed to consumers. Senator Casey’s investigative report explains how individuals and families can avoid being lured into junk plans and calls for the Administration to reverse this harmful rule.
Read Senator Casey’s Report On Junk Plans Here