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Tennessee warns consumers of

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.

See the biggest insurance problems across the country

Many states are seeing victims who've been duped by health insurance companies promising the moon for very little money, then absconding with the payments and leaving them 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 Tennessee Department of Insurance (DOI). These unlicensed companies do not meet the financial solvency requirements of the DOI for properly licensed insurance companies.

If you purchase insurance coverage from a company not licensed in Tennessee you will not be protected by the state guaranty fund should the company fail.

Call Consumer Insurance Services at (800) 342-4029 to find out if the insurance company you've chosen is permitted to do business in Tennessee. If not, don't buy insurance from that company.

If you find that one company quotes you a much lower price on an insurance product than the rest of the companies you are considering, be careful. Low rates should generate questions about how the company can offer this product when other insurers cannot.

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