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Lawsuit alleges Obamacare plan-switching scheme targeted low-income consumers

Julie Appleby, KFF Health News, KFF Health News on

Published in News & Features

A wide-ranging lawsuit filed Friday outlines a moneymaking scheme by which large insurance sales agency call centers enrolled people into Affordable Care Act plans or switched their coverage, all without their permission.

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, two such call centers paid tens of thousands of dollars a day to buy names of people who responded to misleading advertisements touting free government “subsidies” and other rewards. In turn, sales agents used the information to either enroll them in ACA plans or switch their existing policies without their consent.

As a result, the lawsuit alleges, consumers lost access to their doctors or medications and faced financial costs, such as owing money toward medical care or having to repay tax credits that were paid toward the unauthorized coverage.

Some consumers were switched multiple times or had duplicative policies.

“We allege there was a plan that targeted the poorest of Americans into enrolling in health insurance through deceptive ads and unauthorized switching,” to gain compensation for the sign-ups or capture the commissions that would have been paid to legitimate insurance agents, said Jason Doss, one of two lawyers who filed the case following a four-month investigation.

Doss and Jason Kellogg, the other lawyer on the case, which was filed on behalf of several affected policyholders and agents, are seeking class action status.


KFF Health News has in recent weeks reported on similar concerns raised by consumers and insurance agents.

Named as defendants are TrueCoverage and Enhance Health, which operate insurance call centers in Florida and other states; Speridian Technologies, a New Mexico-based limited liability company that owns and controls TrueCoverage; and Number One Prospecting, doing business as Minerva Marketing, which is also a lead-generating company. The lawsuit also names two people: Brandon Bowsky, founder and CEO of Minerva; and Matthew Herman, CEO of Enhance Health. Attempts to reach the companies for comment were unsuccessful.

According to the lawsuit, the call centers had access to policyholder accounts through “enhanced direct enrollment” platforms, including one called Benefitalign, owned by Speridian.

Such private sector platforms, which must be approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, streamline enrollment by integrating with the federal ACA marketplace, called The ones included in this case were not open to the public, but only to those call center agencies granted permission by the platforms.


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