Seven Signs a Health Plan Might be 'Junk Insurance'

Consumer Reports' story "Hazardous Health Plans" (May 2009) revealed the effects of what must be called deceptive health insurance plan descriptions. If you're recently out of work, or have had your hours cut back so much that you have lost health coverage, you may be in the market for an individual health insurance plan. If so, read this story. It's not at all obvious what coverage some plans offer, especially in states that do not mandate transparency and standardization of coverage language.

CR offers up seven potential risk areas that could help sniff out junk health insurance. These areas include limitless out-of-pocket fees, hidden catches and gotchas, ceilings on certain types of care, and complete exclusions for some procedures. The latter is the most insidious; policy language excludes items by simply omiting them, rather than identifying the exclusions.

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