Court orders insurance plan company to halt working with web handle, branding related to the Washington well being insurance coverage marketplace

A Seattle wellbeing coverage company was ordered by King County Remarkable Court docket to stop working with a world wide web tackle and branding resembling those applied by the state’s overall health insurance policies market.

The order in opposition to Wellbeing Insurance plan Team was sought by condition Legal professional Typical Bob Ferguson on the grounds that the use of a related domain name and branding employed by the Washington Condition Wellbeing Gain Exchange amounted to misleading promotion, which is prohibited under the Shopper Security Act.

“In the midst of an ongoing public wellbeing disaster, Washingtonians have earned obvious, correct details about their well being care possibilities,” Ferguson stated in a news launch.

A individual who answered the telephone at Wellbeing Insurance policy Team on Thursday afternoon declined to remark.

Washington’s Wellness Reward Trade was designed following the Cost-effective Treatment Act was handed in 2010 to offer experienced person plans in the condition rather of relying on the federally run Health care.gov.

In October 2012, the trade introduced the on line portal for acquiring health insurance coverage by way of the exchange would be identified as Washington Healthplanfinder.

The attorney general’s criticism claims that on the same day the Exchange announced Washington Healthplanfinder, Health Insurance policy Staff registered 12 domain names with the phrase “healthplanfinder.” A single of those 12 was washingtonhealthplanfinder.org.

The complaint claims that Well being Insurance policy Team hadn’t utilized a domain name equivalent to the state’s in advance of and started making use of “deceptive domain names that it experienced registered, such as washingtonhealthplanfinder,” in the months leading up to the Exchange’s initially open enrollment interval in 2013.

The company also employed a toll-free telephone amount 1 digit off from the Exchange’s number, employed the Exchange’s brand on Twitter and had statements on its web-site these kinds of as, “We are your just one prevent resource to navigate you via all the changes having put in the Washington Well being Insurance plan Trade.”

Overall health insurance plan buyers require to be conscious that there are websites that hue closely to Washington Healthplanfinder, explained Michael Marchand, main internet marketing officer of the Trade.

“To stay clear of being taken edge of, we stimulate people to enroll in wellbeing protection with qualified people and stop by the correct web site deal with at wahealthplanfinder.org,” he mentioned.

The court also requested Overall health Coverage Staff to shell out the state Lawyer General’s Place of work $50,000 that will go toward implementing the Consumer Security Act.

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