Ameriplan USA Scam? or really a relief to rising costs of Health Insurance?
Someone approached me here (Yahoo Answers) citing Ameriplan as an alternative to high insurance premiums, even going as far to say I could get Health, Dental, and Chiropractic coverage as low as $59/month.
When I googled Ameriplan there were mixed reviews, and many used the "scam" word, which is not... show more Someone approached me here (Yahoo Answers) citing Ameriplan as an alternative to high insurance premiums, even going as far to say I could get Health, Dental, and Chiropractic coverage as low as $59/month.
When I googled Ameriplan there were mixed reviews, and many used the "scam" word, which is not good to read.
Best Answer: Ameriplan isn't a scam - but it's not health insurance. They don't PAY anything. Basically, they are selling you a LIST. The providers on the list, don't necessarily give you a discount. It's not guaranteed. It's not regulated.
Your $59 a month, is buying you a LIST, of providers, some of which MIGHT give you an unspecified discount.
It's not a scam. But it's NEVER going to pay anything, on your behalf.
I see a lot of people talking about this as a scam.. and thinking that this is actually health insurance, this is there they go wrong from the start. Its a discount program to help fill some of the gaps that our poor health care system suffers from. It is not like blue cross or cigna where you are paying for insurance against need. Its a group of providers who will give services at a preferred rate to Ameriplan holders. I think this is were the confusion begins.
The CARE end of the equation is really out of the hands of the government except for regulations concerning health and safety. What's at issue is the INSURANCE end of the equation. The only practical way to deal with this end of the problem is to either have a Universal HEALTH INSURANCE system to pay the bills, or to super regulate the private insurance industry by forcing them to accept boiler plate policies that can be improved, but not diminished. Most states have done this with auto insurance and with homeowners insurance and insurance companies manage to make money on both of these items. But let's be real.....the GOP is dead set against doing what needs to be done. Somehow they'll manage to torpedo anything that may be good for the public. Case in point: The VA buys drugs via contract with the drug companies. Veterans can get a 30 day supply of almost any drug for as little at $12.00. The drug companies make big bucks at even this price. Why can't the general public have this kind of deal? Answer....the reactionaries of the GOP are against the idea. Instead they stuck us with their numb nuts Medicare part 'D', thus screwing our old folks with a useless 10% reduction...big deal! Realistically we may never get the deal we're entitled to until and unless the Democrats and the reasonable republicans grow a pair, tell the 'conservative' weasels to stick it where the sun don't shine and change this abortion of a non-system to something that reflects the 21st century. My opinion!
I spent 30 years in the insurance business selling life and health insurance. long after leaving that business I joined Ameriplan with full knowledge that it was not insurance , rather a chance to negotiate a medical bill by paying cash to doctors who agreed to discount their services for cash.
It quickly became apparent that the only way to make money was to do the same constant recruiting of others to sell the concept to as many people as they could recruit . No different than any other multi level marketing plan. After less than a year I noticed that agents in certain Southern states were rising quickly in rank to become regional and state directors or some such title. I am sure that this was because they were selling it as insurance which it was not. Obama Care will probably wipe out any such "plans".
After my years in the life and health insurance business it was not difficult to assume that this was occuring because the plan was being sold as insurance
It's long, but the bottom line is if you end up in the hospital you'll pay the majority of that bill. You're better off buying a $10,000 deductible health plan that will give you the same discounts during the deductible (if not better) and it won't cost much more -- may even cost less.
When you get a $100,000 hospital bill (after it's discounted) with the discount plan you'll owe $100,000, but with the insurance you'd owe ~$10,000. Sure it's a high deductible but with a discount plan they pay NOTHING towards your bill. You have no deductible because you pay for everything. They don't start paying at any point.
It's a dangerous, false sense of security. Just get insurance...even if it's a high deductible...and be done with it.
Hope that helps,
Anonymous · 1 decade ago
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Be very wary of any medical discount cards. They are not regulated by the Department of Insurance nor do the people that sell them need to be licensed nor insured. This means you have little recourse when you have problems with the plan. If you are tempted by the low price and claims of “save up to 80%” be aware that very few doctors actually take these cards. It does you little good if you have to drive 4 hours to find a doctor that will accept the card. Montana couldn’t find any doctors in the whole state that actually took the card and only one dentist who was on probation for unlawful activities so they banned the sale of the card and fined the company. See this link http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/wes... for more information. Many other states are investigating these cards as well.
I dont know about regular doctors but for dentists and vision its a decent buy. Yes it is only a list of docs and its not insurance but the docs do work with the plan to offer their members some kind of discount. The docs little clinic in return gets some sort of advertising and potential clients. If a doc already has enough clients he probably wont choose to be on the list (wont work with the discount card provider) and offer any discounts. Being an independent dentist can be competitive and he/she can be going up against many other docs in their area and fighting for business. For the little guy dentist working with someone like Ameriplan can be beneficial for the doctor as well. If you live in a small town with a limited number of clinics in your area discount plans may not work for you but if you live in a big city that has clinics every where, a discount card program such as ameriplan can get you decent discounts.