Ad Alert

Medicaid Insurance Site Holds No Benefit for Consumers

Website claims to provide Medicaid assistance but your personal information is at risk.

Ad Alert

Medicaid Insurance Site Holds No Benefit for Consumers

At best, this website appears to be a detour to actual assistance regarding Medicaid benefits. At worst, it’s a possible bait-and-switch scheme that targets a vulnerable population of low-income people, single moms, and veterans.

On its homepage, medicaidinsurancebenefits.com claims that the site can assist you in finding “Medicaid eligibility information in your area.” Just hand over some basic contact information (zip code, first and last name, and email address) and agree to the site’s terms and conditions, which has a pre-checked, default setting of consent (see below).

medicaid benefits ad alert

That pre-checked box should serve as a red flag for consumers. And if you were to click on the tiny “terms and conditions” hyperlink, you’d find out why: By agreeing to the terms and conditions, you agree to have your personal information shared with the site’s many so-called “clients,” which include banks, brokers, healthcare companies, insurance agents, and online education program providers (more on these guys to come), who will use the information to hound you nonstop:

By submitting any request for products or services, you are extending an express invitation to be contacted by one or more Clients either by telephone, email, or postal mail based on the information you have provided to us, even if you have opted into any federal, state, or other applicable Do Not Call List.

To see what the site actually sends out, TINA.org signed up with a made-up name and email. Shortly after, we received an email from “Approved (Results)” with the subject line “[Completed] Quotes for Health Insurance Coverage.” The email directed us to a link “to view the most current Medicaid Application information.” We clicked the link and were led to a page on healthcare.gov that you can access without giving up your email address or other personal information — i.e., the stuff you just surrendered to medicaidinsurancebenefits.com and its clients.

More troubling than this detour and unnecessary disclosure of personal information, though, are allegations brought by an anti-corruption blog charging that the site operates as a bait-and-switch scam that preys on the vulnerable. Republic Report contends that the site’s “real purpose … [is] to get low-income people, single mothers, veterans, and unemployed older people on the telephone and push them into high-cost for-profit college programs.”

Republic Report alleges that the site provides leads on prospective students to these for-profit colleges. The companies that have obtained leads include the University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, Kaplan, and Corinthian Colleges, all of which are under investigation for “alleged fraudulent activities,” Republic Report notes.

For more on TINA.org’s coverage of for-profit colleges click here.


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