Have spoken on three occasions with a representative to ascertain that my son is in fact signed up for Health Insurance: According to their Member handbook:OptumHealthAllies, it says that they are only a Health Discount Program, but when my son and I talk to their representative they confirm he is on Health Insurance , Unified National Health/ Multiplan (very small letter: limited. But something does not seem right. Please help us with this? question. We really need to know if this is a reputable Major Health Insurance. My son lives on a very tight budget.

  1. 5527 POINTS
    Marlin McKelvy
    President, Consumer Directed Benefit Solutions, Memphis, Tennessee
    NO! NO! NO! Am I clear here? If someone looked you in the eye and sold you this company's coverage as true major medical insurance then you have been scammed. If you went to a web site and went "Oh, cheap health insurance" and then purchased it without reading the details you were still kind of scammed but you are also at some fault for not doing your homework.

    This is what is referred to as a limited benefit health plan. It probably does technically have some insurance components to it that are what are called "indemnity plans" which pay a fixed amount for a day in the hospital or for a visit to the doctor or towards other health services.

    These plans do not meet the legal requirements under ObamaCare to be defined as major medical insurance and to avoid the individual mandate tax penalty. In fact, they didn't meet the legal criteria to be called major medical plans before ObamaCare went into effect. Such plans were often marketed to businesses with lots of low income employees as a "better than nothing" alternative to more expensive group major medical plans. Sometimes they are also marketed to vulnerable individuals who don't understand health insurance and that sounds like the case here.

    If your son is on a very tight budget then he will either qualify for very substantial premium subsidies in the government health insurance marketplace or for Medicaid. In either case he would have better, more affordable coverage through these options than what this outfit is selling. Also, please do my profession a favor and if an insurance agent has tried to sell you this coverage and told you it was major medical coverage please report him or her to your state's insurance department for investigation.
    Answered on November 8, 2014
  2. 521 POINTS
    Edward Crowe
    Owner, Crowe and Associates, Brookfield, CT
    Unified national offers short term and limited benefit indemnity based health insurance plans. Short Term plans are made to cover people that recently lost coverage or just need coverage for a few months up to 1 year. Limited benefit plans pay a set dollar amount out towards claims costs. They can help offset costs to an extent but will not provide any type of adequate coverage for a large claim. In general, these plans will not meet the ACA definition as a compliant plan and will not waive the ACA "Obama Care" penalty as a result.

    Multiplan is a national network of doctors that Unified rents so they have a network that can be used. They are a separate company from Unified and are just in the business of renting their network of doctors out to insurance companies that do not have their own network or have a regional or limited network they want to supplement.
    Answered on February 12, 2016
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