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South Carolina troubled by unlicensed health insurers

Everyone looks for a bargain these days, but don't be so sure that paying less for your health insurance is as good as it sounds.

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Many states are seeing consumers who've been duped by health insurance companies promising the moon for very little money, then absconding with the payments and leaving you unprotected.

These organizations market products that they call "health care benefits." They offer what appear to be much lower premiums and they often offer coverage for people with serious pre-existing health conditions that other companies may not insure.

Some of these companies claiming to offer health care benefits are not licensed by the South Carolina Department of Insurance. These unlicensed companies do not meet the financial solvency requirements the South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI) requires for properly licensed insurance companies.

If you find that one company is able to quote you a much lower price or a much higher yield on an insurance product than the rest of the companies you are considering, be careful. High yields or low rates should generate questions as to how the company can offer this product when other companies cannot. Be sure to check with the DOI to ensure that the insurance company with which you plan to do business is indeed licensed in South Carolina.

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