A Plague of Health-Insurance Scams

Unlicensed companies are conning hundreds of thousands, particularly small businesses and freelancers

In June, 2000, Lisa and Dennis Huffstutler were thrilled with their new health insurer, Vanguard Asset Group. Its plan, sold via a trade organization Dennis belonged to, was cheaper than their expiring Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida HMO policy--$4,800 a year, vs. $5,064. They could choose their doctors. And it covered existing conditions--a big plus since Lisa and their 4-year-old son have chronic medical problems.

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