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Posts Tagged ‘misleading’

In an October 23, 2013 CBS article they explain;

“…Incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they’re paying.” said Industry Analyst, Jonathan Wu.  Wu points to how the website lumps people only into two broad categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.”  Prices for everyone in the 49-or-under group are based on what a 27-year-old would pay. In the 50-or-older group, prices are based on what a 50-year-old would pay.

CBS ran the numbers for older Americans and found a huge difference of what was represented and what actually would be the price.  For example 62-year-old in Charlotte looking for the same basic plan would get a price estimate on the government website of $394. The actual price is $634.

Running the numbers for a 48-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., according to HealthCare.gov, she would pay $231 a month, but the actual plan on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s website costs $360, more than 50 percent higher.  The difference: Blue Cross and Blue Shield requests your birthday before providing more accurate estimates.

What would happen to a company that represented it’s pricing this way?  They would inevitably be brought up on deceptive advertising at least and possibly fraud if an older or mentally challenged individual had difficulty in actually discerning the difference as they proceeded with purchase.

The reality of an average price would take the population 50 through 90’s and average theObama-and-Sebelius age of the population in that sample, most likely finding it skewing more toward 65 than 50.  Same with under 49, probably finding the average around 35.  In any case, why can’t they just say, born in this “year” or give the actual price, this is not beyond website technology, well for a private company anyway.

The Government should not be exempt from the wide array of Consumer Protection laws and the very administration created our very own Consumer Czar, Elizabeth Warren.  Where is she in all of this?

“Industry executives CBS News spoke with literally could not believe the government is providing these estimates, which they said were useless and could easily mislead consumers,”  NBC News, Jan Crawford said.

“They also say that the website repeatedly states the actual prices could be lower – but it makes no mention that they could be higher,” she added.  She has already called the website a “complete disaster,” and the Obamacare rollout a “complete failure.” On Friday, Crawford focused on the widely-acknowledged privacy risks surrounding the system, but adding that “the glitches have, in fact, made the website unusable for most.”

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