Covered or Not? p.3

Betty Howard tells us several months ago her mom purchased one of many discount health plans for Betty. She says with no insurance at all. The discount health plan was something.

Then she discovered she was pregnant.

"They gave me a doctors name I called to set up an appointment it turned out that that doctor didn't take the insurance that I had...the discount card. So they gave me another name and I called another place and they said they didn't take it either. So basically I had no options."

For Betty, the MedLife Plus plan proved to be not worth the paper it was written on, and even then, the written word of many of these plans has to be questioned. They are not medical savings plans, nor insurance. Although that's not what they will lead you to believe.

OPERATOR:" We cover 80-percent medical lab and xrays, 60-poercent dental 65-percent vision and hearing 60-percent chiropractic.

LeeAnn Sullivan Billing Manager from The Medical Group of Northern Nevada often has to break the bad news.

"I have to explain to them that they don't have coverage and they basically have paid for nothing. And they have to pay upfront before the visit. And I explain it to them they get very upset, they don't understand, and its hard for us."

Until just a couple of months ago there was nothing state authorities could do about unscrupulous discount health plans. But a new Nevada law forces these plans to register with the state insurance division

Ben Gillard, Investigator for the division says, "Whether they are a Nevada Company or outside the state of Nevada if they are selling a product in Nevada, we have jurisdiction to stop that tot fine them and take that whole gamet of action. "

Gillard admits investigating these discount health plans is tough. Once complaints start flooding into toll free lines...the offices shut down and start up elsewhere. Which is what I am finding out. With my checking account one-hundred-69-dollars poorer, I still have no card, and because lines go unanswered or voice mails boxes full, there is no way to leave a message.