Q:

What are red flags for Healthcare Alliance scams?

A:

Quick Answer

Healthcare Alliance discount pharmacy cards are legitimate, according to an investigation by Pacific Standard magazine. A different organization called Healthcare Alliance Inc. in Mississippi is a valid health care provider, as explained on the organization's website.

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Full Answer

The Healthcare Alliance pharmacy cards may arrive unannounced in the mail, but don't require a user to register or spend any money to apply the card's discount, states the Pacific Standard. The discount card company earns money through a small percentage return from drug companies on each purchase. The drug companies negotiate specific discounts with pharmacies.

The Federal Trade Commission provides general guidelines for avoiding fraud on its website, FTC.gov. The FTC website also provides specific guidance about scammers that claim they sell health insurance plans when they are really discount plans. A discount is not the same as health insurance, promising only a percentage of savings rather than paid coverage for illness. Another warning sign of fraud is if the company uses high-pressure sales tactics to get money or personal information.

Purchased discount plans can use confusing wording to make them sound like insurance, cautions the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Anyone who suspects a scam should contact the appropriate state insurance department. The FTC website also provides links to report fraud for investigation.

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