The federal government has been making such too-good-to-be-true offers for decades--the "Social Security" game dates all the way back to 1935--but such scams seem to be multiplying of late. An example appears on the White House website under the heading "Did You Get a Check?"As a matter of fact, I did get a check from my insurance company thanks to the new health care law.
"Because of the new health care law," the site explains, "insurance providers are now required to devote at least 80 percent of the premiums you pay to your health care--not to advertising, or administrative costs, or salaries for their CEOs. . . . Companies that aren't meeting the standard are actually providing rebates to their customers."
I burned it.
I didn't ask anyone to step in between me and the company I'd made an agreement with in good faith. They kept their part of the bargain, and I'm not about to fail to keep mine.
However, the next letter I got from my insurance company sadly explains that my premiums are about to go way up. I wonder what could possibly have raised the cost of insuring us so much? Perhaps all those new services they're required to offer me for free? Whatever it was, the check I got -- had I cashed it -- would not have begun to cover the difference in price.
The insurer invited me to continue to enjoy my current benefits for quite a bit more, or to move to one of their other plans if I prefer. They said they could afford to offer me a plan at a similar rate to the old plan if we raise the annual deductible by a thousand dollars.
I imagine that, should I accept this invitation, in a couple of years that option will be gone as well. Such high-deductible plans won't meet the required standards, and I'd be fined if I accepted the offer.
Thanks for the check, though.