LTC Consumers: Beware Soaring Rise of Bootleg Quoting Sites
BELLEVUE, WASH., OCTOBER 9, 2013—Long Term Care Associates, Inc. (LTCA) today issued a nationwide consumer alert. Consistent with our focus on elder financial abuse, the company has observed an emerging trend in the online marketing of long-term care insurance which has the potential to not only compromise shoppers' Protected Health Information, but even result in identity theft.
"It's critical to root out the bad apples," said LTCA's senior vice president Stephen D. Forman. "Not only do these rogue websites degrade the buying experience, but they can also do real harm to unsuspecting seniors."
Whether just beginning one's research or about to request an illustration ("quote") over the internet, consumers shopping for long-term care insurance online must always verify the identity of the party at the receiving end. LTCA recommends consumers ask the following questions:
- What is the name of the agency or producer requesting your information? Outlandish as it seems, many website owners go to great lengths to conceal their identities. Other sites are merely "collectors" which re-sell your information to third-parties.
- What is their phone number? In case of a problem, can you call someone to speak with the owner? Which state are they located in, and regulated by?
- Can you find this agent or agency on your State Insurance Department website? Nearly every state allows you to verify that a producer's license is in good standing, and whether or not there are any complaints pending.
- Is there an "https" or padlock symbol in the address bar? Before sending any personal or health information over the internet, you must make sure your information will be transmitted securely. Although sites may display many types of attractive "certificate" or "seal", don't be fooled if these are not legitimate proof of encryption.
- Do they ask for sensitive financial information, such as your social security, credit card or driver's license number? You should never have to provide this data just to receive a long-term care quote. (Conversely, once you trust your LTC agent, the more health information you can share, the better he or she will be able to help you.)
LTCA has earned the respect of our peers by advocating for consumers. From calling for industrywide endorsement of the National Alzheimer's Plan, to urging support of bi-partisan LTC legislation, to our pioneering "Education through Social Media" campaign, the company has become a reliable and trusted resource for both the media and heads of household alike.
With roots dating back to 1972, Long Term Care Associates, Inc. (LTCA) has now entered its 5th decade focused exclusively in the LTC insurance marketplace. Headquarted in Bellevue, WA, the company is proud to serve over five million members of sponsoring organizations, and count the claim payments to its clientele in the tens of millions of dollars
Follow LTCA's "Education through Social Media" campaign on the following properties: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
For Media Inquiries Contact:
Stephen D. Forman, CLTC
Long Term Care Associates, Inc.
11900 NE 1st St., #115
Bellevue, WA 98005
425-462-9500 ext. 205