Group Benefit Resources Reviews (3)
Review: This insurance broker dowloaded the application form from the Maryland Health Connection and sent it out to my son suggesting he was required to fill it out and return it ("Enclosed is the form you need to complete an Obamacare account..." "Do you want to know if you qualify for a federal subsidy? Even if you don't you still have to complete the form.") They filled in their name (a broker) as the authoirized representative under language that says "you can give a trusted person permission to talk about this application with you..." and included the form that asks for social security, personal, and financial information...the form from the md health connection. This organization is collecting private information by suggesting the recipients have to fill out the information and they are authorized to have it. This letter is easily misunderstood by those who most need the health care and are likely to give this private organization their personal and financial information.
Not right.Desired Settlement: Stop sending out this letter
I was frankly surprised by **. [redacted]'s "complaint" (copy attached). I have sent the same questionnaire and cover letter to hundreds of consumers interested in Obamacare and have never had a complaint. I plan to continue to do so.
This form is a Maryland Health Connection state form - not mine, not an "insurance company's", not a federal form - and must be used by all residents of Maryland if they wish to qualify for a federal subsidy. I am certified by the Maryland Health Connection (the state exchange) to sell their plans and to help consumers purchase from the Exchange. I was given the number [redacted] as proof of this certification. I have been a state licensed health insurance broker for 27 years.
When I suggested that her son complete the form even if he did not think he would qualify for a federal subsidy, it was for two reasons: (1) the Federal Government has greatly increased the amount of money a person can earn and still qualify for free Medicaid; and (2) the Federal Government has increased the amount of money one can earn and still get a subsidy. Most people do not realize this He is under no obligation to reveal his income information. But he will not find out if he can get a subsidy or not, because the subsidy is based on a person's income.
the State of Maryland requires that if a person works with a certified producer (navigator, counselor, or broker), the section authorizing this collaboration must be signed. There is no financial obligation of any kind. As a matter of fact, a person is infinitely better off working with a broker for several reasons:
• The cost to the consumer is zero. My services are paid for by insurance companies who save a lot of money by working with the broker community.
• The cost of the insurance product? is the same whether or not a broker is used.
• Brokers are able to explain the very complicated health care law in simple tfer** 'that can be understood by the average person.
• The financial assistance from the Federal Government is actually an advanced premium tax credit and not a health allowance or subsidy, as most individuals believe.
• As their broker, after the sale is completed, I will continue to be around to trouble shoot for proble** involving clai**, billing, identity cards, address changes, etc.
I object to the allegation that my organization is collecting private information. The State of Maryland is the entity requesting income information, as well as other personal information, in order to conlirm the person's identity and qualify the person for any federal help to pay for health insurance. I am just facilitating to help move the process along in view of the catastrophic failure of online application. There is a mathematical formula to compute the subsidy and without the income informajtion, it cannot be figured out.
The bottom line is this. I am a certified producer of the Maryland Health Connection exchange. In sending out the questionnaire, I am only performing a function expected of brokers. I would be remiss in my responsibilities to the Exchange if I ignore their mandate. Therefore, I will continue to send questionnaires to potentially interested parties. In order to ease the concerns of **. [redacted], I recommend that she work with a health insurance broker whom she trusts.
Review: The person on the phone calling me speaks very fast saying he was from Group Benefit Resources concerning health care quotes. I didn't know what he was talking about so I responded saying I didn't request any quotes from his company. The man who called is named [redacted]. He then says my name is on a internet list available to 500 million people and then abruptly hangs up the phone.
Obviously he had gotten my name and number from a list he had purchased.
I called him back a day or two later and said I did not appreciate his business practices (cold calling technique). He tries to instill some kind of fearful response from whomever his is calling. He repeated the same mantra and said it was up to the consumer to remove their name from the list and again, hung up the phone. His website says he has been in business for over 27 years and has over 4000 clients. I am concerned about him having access to my private information. He would not engage me over the phone and tell me what list he was referring to.Desired Settlement: I want him to stop making these kind of calls and I would like to know how to remove my name from the list he was referring.
December 23, 2013
Dear **. [redacted],
I am a health insurance broker. One source I use for leads is the internet. There are many websites I use to buy leads. Many people go online requesting information on health insurance, and most recently, the “Obama-Care” website. Occasionally, as with **. [redacted], people don’t realize their name is added to this “list.” Perhaps he completed a survey or applied through [redacted] insurance, or perhaps requested information directly from an insurance company some time ago. I don’t know. But how am I supposed to distinguish the “real” leads from the “bad” leads? I mail information via U.S. mail to all the leads. I only make a follow-up telephone call a week later - and then only to see if they received the information which they requested.
**. [redacted] told me that he never requested any information. I said “fine, I won’t call you again.” But as a courtesy to **. [redacted] (and I didn’t have to do this), I informed him that his name and address were on the internet for over 500 million people to see, which is true. He then became very angry and demanded that I take him off that list. I told him I had no authority or ability to do this and told him “you got your name on the list and you get it off.” He got belligerent so I hung up.
As for my business practice of using “cold calling technique”, none of my calls are “cold calls.” These are people (usually) who have a genuine interest in health insurance and are therefore “warm calls.”
As for my telling him what list he was on, I have no idea since there are many websites selling leads ([redacted], [redacted], [redacted], [redacted] to name just a few). I am not the only one who has access to his “private” information. Anyone who buys leads has access to such information, and for **. [redacted]’ information, I don’t have a website.
My advice to **. [redacted] is that if he didn’t want people calling him, he should not have gone online and provided his personal information.
As for my own business practices, I am changing nothing. I will continue to call people to follow up on the leads. I guess the only thing I have learned from this situation is to stop being such a nice guy. I know that I would want to know how my name got on a list and I assume others would as well. In the future, when the customer says he never requested information, I will just hang up because being pleasant and courteous doesn’t work.
Review: I was contacted through mail by [redacted] who is the President of Group Benefit Resources. I believe she/he illegally accessed my medical records online and knew that I was looking for insurance. When I told him/her I was not interested in inurance through him, he screamed into the phone and told me that my records are available to 300 million people now. This was said to scare me and he slammed the phone down in my ear. I then called to complain on 3/2 and realized that there was no one to complain to but [redacted]. [redacted] I say [redacted] because although the name is female it sounded like a man) answered when I called and confirmed [redacted] was the President. I told him/her that I didn't appreciate the scare tactic and [redacted] screamed again. [redacted] also screamed "I know where you live." I then contacted the [redacted] County police dept and they suggested I contact the Revdex.com. I am worried what this person is going to do with my medical records and I am worried if [redacted] is going to come to my house.Desired Settlement: I do not want to ever be contacted by this company again, but I do want others to know what [redacted] did to instill fear in me. I never even contacted his company for assistance and he contacted me through illegal searches of my medical records online.
From: Group Benefit Resources [redacted]
Date: Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 4:43 PM
Subject: Response to Complaint ID [redacted]
To: [email protected]
Attention [redacted]Revdex.com On March 24, I received an email from you in reference to a consumer complaint which you have filed under reference number [redacted]. The auto button in the email for responses to this complaint was inoperative. Hence I have chosen to send you an email with my response, as follows: I want to first thank the Revdex.com for informing me about this complaint and giving me the opportunity to refute the allegations and lies. I have been in the health insurance sales business for over 27 years and I have over 4,000 clients. I do not appreciate her attempts to defame me with false accusations. The complainant is 100% incorrect in her complaint. FIRST: I am an independent health insurance broker. There is absolutely no way that I can get access to her medical records which are protected by all kinds of privacy laws. Furthermore, I do not need access to such records in order to conduct my business. The underwriters of insurance companies are the ones who need medical records which they request from the applicant. As a broker, I am prevented from even knowing any part of the record by privacy laws. Therefore it is absolutely wrong to accuse me of “illegally accessing medical records online.” SECOND: Like many brokers, I purchase names from a commercial list broker who collect such names from people who sign in on the internet and request health insurance information. The complainant went into a website and completed a questionnaire requesting for health. Her name was included in one of the lists that we purchased from [redacted] I mailed her information, the same package I send to about 1,000 individuals per month. A few days later, I called her to find out if she received what I mailed because if she did not, I would mail it again as I do many times. Although she had gone to the internet for help, she told me that she was “not interested.” She demanded that I take her name off the list. I told her simply that I would not call her again but I have no control over the list broker’s list in order to remove her name. She would have to do this herself. I assume she took this as an insult to her because she became abusive in tone and language. I tried to explain to her that I will take her name of OUR list, but there was no way I could get her off the main list. Furthermore, I said she would probably get hundreds of calls because of what she did, as that is the nature of internet inquiries. She continued to be abusive using foul language. When it became obvious that she was not interested in resolving the issue correctly, I decided to hang up. She called back and spoke to one of my staff continuing her abusive language and threats against me. In summary, her complaints against me have no factual basis. My job is to inform my clients about the health insurance options available to them. That is all. Under no circumstances do I have access to any of her personal records, much less medical data. For her to call the [redacted] County police department with hysterical accusations that I may go to her house to threaten her or misuse her medical records is tantamount to character defamation.
[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]
I am rejecting this response because: these are blatant lies. My husband is a witness to all of this. I would not call the police department if I wasn't threatened. This man also screamed in my ear " your health records are accessible to 300,000 people and said "I know where you live" when I told him he was harassing me and I didn't appreciate his tone, I told him I would report him and that I took it as a threat. He said, "put your money where your mouth is" I never spoke to anyone at that company accept [redacted], the President. All of this response are complete lies.
The complainant is entitled to her own opinion. But here are the facts, undisputed by the law and verified by witnesses (2 associates I share my office with who will attest to the manner by which I conduct my telephone interviews). This is the last time I am going to address this complaint.