Some health insurance brokers are setting up states that mimic the name and look of the official state exchanges. But the fake sites are easily identifiable because, unlike the official sites, they work.
In one such case, a state-licensed broker in
suburban Seattle bought the domain name washingtonhealthplanfinder.org
and built a website with fewer computer glitches than the state’s new
health insurance marketplace, wahealthplanfinder.org. The brokerage’s
site told customers: “Welcome to the Exchange!” in big print until the
state insurance commissioner asked for changes to avoid confusion.
Similar attempts were made in other states:
In New Hampshire,
newhampshirehealthexchange.com offered free price quotes on insurance,
but it wasn’t affiliated with the state or the federal government, which
is running New Hampshire’s official online market. The site was taken
down days after the state sent a cease-and-desist letter.
The unofficial sites can sell real insurance plans however those plans have not been certified by the government and are therefore not eligible for government subsidies. So if you log on to a health insurance exchange site that seems to be working properly, caveat emptor.