Discount Health Card Co. Awaits Decision

Nevada's insurance division is advising customers to "check before you write a check.” However, many residents are still being taken by companies who promise to provide health care coverage.

"Smart Health care Solutions" is a company that offered discount health cards to Nevada residents at a reduced fee.

Questionable business practices and operating in the state illegally, company heads Thursday are waiting a decision from the insurance commissioner as to what penalties they face.

You've probably seen the ads. They recently appeared on television and warn Nevada residents about the pitfalls of buying insurance from disreputable companies.

If you think it can't happen to you, think again.

Joann Swinford is a Panther Valley Resident. “Well if you don't you'll end up like me, in trouble."

Nearly three years ago Swinford got a hold of Smart Health Care Solutions after a local insurance company couldn’t provide her coverage and suggested she give the company a try.

She did the same thing we did, called the number on the flyer and like us, was promised terrific health care coverage. While the operator told us Smart Health Care Solutions was a medical savings plan, they told Joann something else.

We asked if they called themselves insurance? “Right, they did. They never corrected me."

With plenty of health care issues, Joann purchased the plan for her and her son. But when the plan wouldn't provide coverage for two months, she made another call to the insurance division.

"They told me it was illegal to have that here in Reno and in the state of Nevada."

Swinford testified against Smart Health Care Solutions at an administrative hearing investigating the Arizona company Wednesday.

In her testimony she says she now has no insurance. In October 2005 she had and opportunity to purchase COBRA, but instead purchased "Smart" insurance.

She missed the opportunity to purchase the legitimate product that would have provided adequate coverage.

Once the state insurance commissioner decides upon penalties from her division to Smart Health Care she could hand the case over to the state attorney general for further action.

If you have any questions about an insurance company who you want to do business with, you can contact the Nevada Division of Insurance at 888-467-41-95