15th September 2005

The Dallas News is reporting that UICI chairman Ronald Jensen was killed in an auto accident last week.

(this post was written way on on Thursday, September 15th, 2005)

Mr. Jensen made a fortune (and his company still does) steering tens of thousands of innocent business owners into believing they are getting high quality insurance with Mega life and health.

The sales force for the National Association for the Self Employed has made a lot of money, selling what many consider to be a poor substitute for traditional health insurance.

Although I sold the product in Oregon during late 2002 and early 2003, these aren’t just my opinions, either. Here is a forum thread with many of those peoples opinions. and here’s a long list of the crap that Mega has pulled

Since it’s technically legal, the NASE / Mega juggernaut cannot be stopped. The salespeople making thousands of dollars each week are, in my opinion, easily blinded to the illegitimacy of Mega’s policy, because the Mega policy is not even reviewed in their own agent training. I know this because I asked on three separate occasions, “When will we be reviewing our own policy?” and in my months there, we never did, not even once.

Only the competitor policies were discussed and torn apart. Since every policy has limitations, the competition is easily torn down, without ever even examining their own policy.

However, some states are catching on. Calling it “health insurance” at all was apparently too big of a stretch for Washington State, who in 2004 forbid sales of their products altogether. At this point in 2005, I guess they’re back again in Washington.

Always be sure to ask anyone that sells you any health insurance this question… “What’s the maximum out of pocket for a calendar year, including my deductibles?”

( Comments are closed on this thread – but consumers and NASE agents are still voicing their opinions here).

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    71 Comments    

    • Charles Jensen says:

      Learn your facts please before you publish sutch rubbish.

      -Grandson

    • Scott says:

      I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings Charles, but facts are facts. True Washington may now allowed a revised policy to be sold, but the product just isn’t very good.

      and there’s no T in such

    • charles says:

      I agree, nase is a joke… screwing over thousands and thousands of poor citizens every year… yes, ask the max out of pocket… but nase agents will probably lie… they always do… i know, because 13 years ago i started with nase and was told to say as much….now as a broker, i love replaceing them

    • George says:

      NASE is a joke, Mega Life and Health is a rip-off.
      There has not been a cent on the dollar in payments for medical expenses by this company to us in the past seven years.
      We are in the process of hiring an attorney to fight a recent claim that was denied by Mega amounting to over $200k.
      We are canceling our policy…

    • Tom says:

      I was told that I could not change my effective date until ” thirty days before/after anniversary date ” on my existing policy with Mega. Diagnosed with liver failure 0n 3/04/05, I could not change policy until 12/23 which was effective date of orignally purchased policy on 12/23/93. My dealings with Mega after the fact has changed their policy-too late for me!

    • Susan says:

      Was the purpose of this post to mark Mr. Jensen’s passing or to trash his business practices? You can criticize his company (which he did not run single-handedly) but as a person he was generous, patient and empowering. I worked for one of the UICI companies and was staggered by the trust and good intention he invested in us–not to mention the financial support.

      [Name ANY insurance company that runs on ethics. Just one, I'll wait...]

    • Scott says:

      I do believe he was generous, patient and empowering, and I never heard a single ill spoken word about him.

      The purpose of this post was to mark his passing, and also to make potential buyers aware of their huge limitations with Mega health insurance, which many agents simply do not point out.

      Buyers have a responsibility to be informed, and many do not take the time to learn what they’re buying.

      You’re right, the entire insurance industry is a slimy one, and it seems that ethics seldom play a part in their decision making. I’m glad to be out of it.

    • Emma says:

      There are plenty of stories about how MEGA Health Insurance saved an individual or a family from financial ruin. Is a max out of pocket of $12,000.00 a “limitation” on a $300,000.00 hospitalization? Come on! I know these stories, and I often share them with potential clients. As for lying unscrupulous agents, an individual’s morals and values go with them, whatever the company they work for. They were that way before, and they will continue to be that way after MEGA. Those of you who have not had longevity with the company are gone for a reason; those with longevity have built trusted clienteles by helping other people and writing one app at a time.

    • Mark says:

      I have read some of these obviously uneducated rebutals on this flog. I am a licensed agent for Mega Life & Health, and have gone thru thier training.I could ask each and everyone of these people a few questions and I would end up selling them our product.
      I myself learned the old sales technique of features &
      benefitts. Mega is the only Insurance Co. that I am aware of that will give your money back if not used!!!!
      Insurance is asset protection. How much is your life worth??? Then why would you not buy good Insurance??
      I will build your policy to what you are able to afford. Now why would you not spend the money for a good policy. The above complainers, I would not want to insure. They want the cadalic policy for vw price.
      Here is my web site Call for a no BS quote.
      http://www.naseweb.com/markapage.htm
      I bet you won’t put web address on your screen
      you have my premission to take it off if you like
      Be prepared for the reality of truth.
      Thanx MP

    • Scott says:

      Emma says theres a $12,000 max out of pocket

      Good point Emma, but YOU SOUND HONEST. The 12,000 max is an option, easily left off by an agent to lower premium.

      That’s been my whole point with all these posts. Buyers, always ask your agent before you sign anything what the Max OOP is, and review the exclusions and limitations.

      When I sold Mega there was NO max OOP. Now they’ve added one, but it’s a RIDER. An OPTION. That allows unscrupulous agents to leave it off in order to make the sale. The Max OOP should be mandatory so agents cannot screw people!

      Mark writes “Mega is the only Insurance Co. that I am aware of that will give your money back if not used” That again is true, but ONLY WITH AN RIDER ADDED which increases cost.
      Marks website link is bad too, I did not mess with it.

      It is the buyers responsibility to know what they’re getting, so ask questions.

      The fact is I am NOT slamming Mega here, just opening peoples eyes as to wehat to ask.

      They are simply not the best choice for anything other than saving money. By the time you add all the riders, the price is way up there.

      Also, the max Mega benefits are still very low compared to the competition.

      Mega says “More than 95% of hospital bills are less than 50k” so getting Mega is just a little bit of a gamble that is likely to save you money.

      With that logic, if you put your Mega premium money into a coffee can instead, you’re taking just a little bigger gamble and saving WAY more money!

      My own(I’m self employed) family got a high deductible MSA (Now called an HSA) plan. This allows for 100% deductibility of not only my premiums, but ALL dental medical, prescription and vision needs.

      The total cost was about 15% less per month than the best plan Mega had to offer, and has a limit of 6 million lifetime instead of one million lifetime.

      Do your homework before you buy! And get anonymous side by side quotes here http://www.oregonhealthinsurance.net

    • steve says:

      You’re a “consultant”?……In the insurance
      industry??? So….what is your day job??

      steve

    • Scott says:

      Nope, not in the insurance industry. Clearly not, if you’d read the top of the page.

      I made one post about Mega back when I was getting this blog going, and one here when Mr. Jensen passed.

      This thing has taken on a life of it’s own, and wan’t intended to be a “slam Mega” forum.

      I’m closing comments on this post, but I’ll still repeat…

      Buyers, always ask your agent before you sign anything what the Max Out of Pocket is for youreslf, and for all family members, in a calendar year, and then closely review the exclusions and limitations. Read them carefully for any health insurance you ever buy.

    • Tim says:

      mega life and health is the best insurance company out there, I should know i’m there agent. out of all the plp i signed up not one ever call me up on a complaint only just to thank me for helping out, and i signed up hundreds of plp. if you guys just take a min or two to sit down and read other insurance plan’s out there you’ll be wishing that you were on our plan. and just to top it off the good thing about our plan’s is that we have no yearly ded its not like your going to be dishing out money every year just to have your plan kick into effect, for all the calender deductibles out there i think its just a waste of your money

    • Scott says:

      That’s quite an endorsement from Tim, who of course leaves no contact info, no last name, or even the state in which he sells.

      No yearly deductible? Wow. Sound like an odd plan to me. Do your homework, people.

    • Monty says:

      Mega is a ripoff. . .NASA is a ripoff. I got the coverage when I started my own business 9 years ago. . .the premium was $125. After regular premium raises, I open my mail today to find I’m now going to be charged, are you ready?. . .$923 per month!!!. . .for a single individual with NO health issues, no claims but for regular checkup testing. But now I can’t get other coverage as I’ve been diagnosed with a totally benign condition according to my Dr. I’ve been turned down by each insurer I’ve tried to get so I’m trapped in this useless, cheap-ass, outrageously priced piece-of-crap policy.

    • charles says:

      To Monty, go to the risk pool in your state, they must take you and the rate will be much less!!

    • Greg says:

      Scott, I got sucked into their “College” life insurance scam. Sounded good at the time when the salesman was at our home. Now that I have really looked at it (several years later) I decided to cancel it since there are so many better options for life insurance. I did really well with General American. They were purchased by Met Life and the courts made Gen. Am. distribute assets. Got some nice checks out of that. Still waiting for my “cash value” check from Mega Life. I have heard that Northwestern is a good company also but have not had any experience with them.

    • paul says:

      blah,blah,blah what they don’t tell you when your an agent is that no matter how hard you work and sell their insurance if you leave nase or mega as an agent they want every penny back. I was an agent and then wised up to the scam. My lawyers are having a hay day with this one. Still don’t see how it’s legal to get someone to work for a pay check only to have the company want the money back. No wonder they are so rich. Be carefull who you work for in the evil corporate world people.

    • kurt says:

      Thank You for those who have emailed this site. I was doing my homework prior to an interview with mega life.This will give me a few questions.The hour or so I will spend with them should make me a better life and health agent.I live in a small community and I value my relationships.Great commision checks for a year or two do not make your career.[I will also check the other major health insurance providers]

    • Stan says:

      NASE is a great company and I’ve been working for them for over 3 yrs selling health insurance from mega life and health.
      Instead of all the confussion about insurance coverage being good or not…The insurance commisssioners office should give true comparisons of the policy’s sold in the states, that would stop all this confussion as to the value and pitfalls of all the insurance company’s policy’s sold in the states…
      Also anyone who joins the sales force and does not know that this job is a commission advance ,untill we reach our residual has there head in a cloud, and most people including scott in responce to the product we sell being good, I did not hear anythig so far ,of other insurance being better and telling us why the other company is better as I am looking at insurance for myself and have not been able to get anything
      better for what i could afford ,that covers while im working…Please show me so that I can compare as i’ve already compared with most already and don’t know of anything else out there….

    • Attorney says:

      I am an attorney who has successfully filed lawsuits against NASE & MEGA. I have helped both agents and victims. I am also familiar with Cornerstone and Midwest Insurance Co. If you would like a free consultation, please email me at info@gallegoslawfirm.com

    • Chuck says:

      I am currently in a sales position that offers me insurance added to my base, I have been taking this policy at $3900 a year. This seems way to high for a 23 year old male with no past medical history. A life long friend of mine is going to start for MEGA next monday and I told him I would cancel my plan with United Health Care in April and give him my Health Insurance. Not only does this now seem like a terrible idea, but I am wondering if I should tell him to find another job because this MEGA sounds like a chop-shop. ALA J.T. Marlin in the movie Boiler Room.

    • Scott says:

      Nice analogy. And $3900 a year seems pretty steep to me too!

      i’m not an agent anymore, but I offer anonymous quotes for all states through Ehealthinsurance here http://www.oregonhealthinsurance.net if you’re looking to compare…

    • No Name says:

      I would like to know why so many people think that NASA is the samething as NASE. First of all if you are going to use an acronym, get it straight. N A S E ….NASA is a govt program and you will never see insurance coverage from them. Seconandly Scott, if you didn’t want anything said about Mr. Jensen’s passing, you shouldn’t have mentioned it along with the company. You could have just put up a simple posting stating that he had passed. I have been with UICI for a very short time, and the company even after his passing is so family oriented!!! Everyone just needs to wisen up! Health insurance in the US is not the greatest no matter what. If you’re not on a govt plan, NOTHING is 100% paid for!! EVERYONE needs to do their homework and look at the cost of premiums and costs of doctors visits and surgeries. Most people never think of the cost of premiums because a company is helping to pay for them, and then they have to go with a company like Mega or Midwest and they think it is so expensive. Now, I agree, NASE and AFS and all the other associations are just a front to help the agents get in the door, but look at the small amount that the association memberships cost. At most a membership costs $50 a month. Seriously people DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!!!!!!!

    • Scott says:

      Why is it that all the happy employees of UICI and Mega seldom leave their names on their comments?

      Yes, all you Mega employees, you are right. If people would just “do their homework” and “read and understand” their policies, then they would not be surprised when they owe 5 figures after a 3 day hostopital stay. The fact is, that they don’t. Instead, they trust their sales people.

      As soon I figured out what to avoid saying so I could get the sale, I started selling like crazy, and also couldn’t sleep at night.

      That’s why I left Mega and even had to repay thousands of dollars in advances to avoid a collection agency. (I owed Mega about $13,000 and they settled for just over $4400)

      The problem here is not really Mega or UICI. The Mega policy is quite clear about what is covered, and Mega pays what it’s supposed to.

      The problem is that some of the AGENTS will say (and avoid saying) anything they can just to get the sale, and that same thing could be true of any company.

    • mj says:

      I signed up with Nase/Mega for health insurance today. I did ask the salesman what the max out of pocket per year is, but like a good saleman, he talked all around the question until I forgot the original question.

    • Chris says:

      Question: A lot of you are basing your opinion on Mega’s max out of pocket limitations, does anyone here have any complaints about them paying to doctors or hospitals?

      The reason I ask is this: I am considering a policy from Mega for my wife and child. I don’t sign anything unless I see it in writing and I asked the agent what the maximum OOP would be. He told me $20,000 which seems like a honest answer given your responses here. I can get insurance through my workplace with Anthem Blue Cross, but the cost for my wife and son (who are both healthy) is $10,980 a year. That is not a misprint folks, this is what the big guys are charging and I know that is a legitimate number because it matches my last employers figs with Anthem as well (my last employer being the state of Virginia).

      So IF Mega does pay as they say to Drs, RXs and hospitals and $20,000 OOP is the max then I still see myself as much better off. The annual savings by switching to MEGA is $8280. Like I said, you can’t predict anything, but my wife and son are healthy and if we go for 3 years like this and paid out the Max OOP once during that time, I’d break about even wouldn’t you say?

      My point is: even though the OOP is high, if they pay the bills, it can still be a valauble option as a short term policy(6 mo- 2 years).

      Any input?

    • Doris says:

      I have a Certificate of Assumption from The Mega Life and Health Insurance Company dated Sept 30, 1994. This is attached to a paid up Life Insurance policy from a long time ago that should have a value on it. Who do you recommend I contact to cash this in or to at least update the beneficiaries and to verify that they have not “sold” our policy on to someone else. Thanks for your help.

    • Scott says:

      You’re welcome, but I have no business even giving an opinion on that, because I know absolutely nothing about it.

      If I were you, I’d contact Mega themselves first, and see if they can satisfy you…

    • Scott says:

      Chris –
      re:20k max OOP –

      $20k OOP does not sound unreasonable at all, when you consider 10k assured annually for Blue Cross.

      I’d encourage you to look at the exclusions and limitations too, t osee what may not be covered.

      My Oregon policy most sold was a $3000 or $5000 deductible, and then they paid 80% of “covered expenses”: UP TO $x a DAY for room and board, and UP TO $x for the surgeon, UP TO $x for the anastesiologist etc. That was right in the policy, then $100% of everything past 100k.

      Realistically, in Oregon, those “up to” ammounts for room, board, surgeon etc. were listed way too low, so the ACTUAL OOP ended up being much higher.

      That said, compared to a $10k annual policy, after adding the deductible, even $40k out of pocket is not that bad a deal for some, and I BELIEVE THAT MEGA CAN STILL BE A GOOD VALUE FOR SOMEONE AS LONG AS THEY CAN ASSUME THAT MUCH RISK.
      The odds are in your favor that you’ll stay healthy anyway.

      My gripe was that so much money is out of most peoples range, and they would be completely surprised by that amount after a large claim.

      When I would honestly explain the real potential risk amounts, beyond the individual policy limitations (the “up to’s), very few people were willing to gamble.

      Chris, it sounds like you’ve thought it out, and understand the risk clearly.

      To answer your question, I never had a problem with Mega paying to the doctors what they were supposed to pay. Good job, and good luck.

    • Eric J. says:

      I was going to sign a policy tonight with Mega, but after reading some of this stuff I called my salesman’s machine and left a message that it would have to wait until I’ve done some more research. The fact is that any company as big as Mega is bound to tick some customers off so the info on here was not enough to make me say no. The fact that he didn’t call me back worries me more than anything written on here.

      The bottom line is that the health insurance industry itself is out of control. Everyones plans are different and it leads to confussion which allows for deception. If the government doesn’t want to provide health care then they should at least step in and clean up this mess with some very clear outlines. They like to tell us that health care is so expensive these days because of malpractice suits and bankruptcies, but don’t even mention the golf course dealings that go on between the insurance companies and the health care providers. Do you think the insurance companies really pay $200 for a bottle of Zoloft? That regular price is so high because of the insurance companies. The uninsured are paying for everything. We in this contry believe in free markets and I don’t believe that this industry is operating as one. It needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Period.

    • Jessica says:

      It is unbelieveable what a HUGE scam this company is! And the worst part is… my friend is an agent. She knowingly signed me up for the “great” insurance, and as a friend I trusted her. I ended up paying $4000 for three months of insurance because this company is junk and they refuse to pay claims. I just can’t believe my “friend” can sleep at night knowing she scams people out of money!

    • Brent says:

      I’m not sure if anyone in here know of a company called BlackStone. It not look it up. They have traditionally been a M&A company (mergers & Acq). Do the research yourself and find out what company BlackStone just bought… UGA or the UICI brand. They bought the entire company and made it private. Translation for those of you new to M&A.
      Blackstone DOES NOT make poor investments. They eliminate any potential misshaps by buying and more importantly controlling the entire entity. To who ever is writting comments about UICI or UGA or MEGA (all subsidiaries) understand that a company that is worth over a $100 billion saw true and real value in a UICI.

      BlackStone is who I would consider the EXPERT in matters concerning UICI/MEGA life and Health. On the other hand, if your investment portfolio is worth $101 billion, I may reconsider my position.
      Get ready for some amazing advancements in the Health Insurance Game.

      I speak as a shareholder in the new BlackStone acqusition!! The stock (UIC) is frozen at $37, if you care to investigate. A five year plan is typical with BlackStone and you will see a re-amerging IPO that may reach $70-100/share. I’m not an expert, just a know a good thing when it keeps performing time and again.

      Oh yeah, I have MEGA HEALTH for me, my wife, my kids, my business associates, and several of my staff. Really anyone who truly weighs his/her options in the marketplace buys on VALUE not a total OOP (out of pocket) as I’ve seen argued in this forum. This forum is a good indicator of the miss-information that most people base a purchasing disision.

      ou don’t purchase something as vital as Health Insurance, you INVEST in the best plan for YOU, with the most upside and long-term plan in place. I love that my family gets a ROP (return of premium) on our Health coverage. Good luck to all in this forum, and know that no company is perfect, no person is perfect, so it’s o.k. to not understand something. However, take into account ALL the facts.

      PS…
      Ron Jensen, who is so shamefully degraded post mortem, was and is a stong influence in my and my famalies lives. I forgive those that say unqualified and unjust things in his name. I’m sorry you never knew him.

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for posting -
      Here’s where I agree with you -

      UICI / or Mega, Blackstone, is likely a good investment. They make money consistently. (In fact, when I walked away, I had to pay over $4000 cash and I lost my stock options) I never claimed they didn’t make money.

      I don’t really disagree with this -

      …”anyone who truly weighs his/her options in the marketplace buys on VALUE not a total OOP (out of pocket) as I’ve seen argued in this forum.”

      or with this -

      “…you don’t purchase something as vital as Health Insurance, you INVEST in the best plan for YOU, with the most upside and long-term plan in place.”

      However -

      It’s still about your out of pocket. OOP. You obviously have a high enough risk tolerance that a $40,000 bill won’t bankrupt you.

      The unlikelyhood of a catastrophy happening, makes Mega a great choice for many people like you.

      In fact playing the odds as you’re doing with the ROP (Return of Premium) is a great thing, but again, only if you have the money to risk on a huge OOP.

      Yes, the odds are way in your favor, that you won’t have a disaster, but people are not made aware of this possiblilty when they buy Mega.

      The answer to “why is Mega insurance cheaper?”  is not just the “power of a large group” but also because there’s a big coverage hole.

      If you can afford the gamble on the slight possibility of a massive bill, then by all means, save the premium dollars.

      I just want people to be aware of the potential, like you seem to be…

      and -
      I reread my post, and I assume this is what you call shameful -

      …”steering tens of thousands of innocent business owners into believing they are getting high quality insurance with Mega life and health.”

      I gotta tell ya, I stand by it. The key to success at Mega was not to fully disclose the risk. I was not trained to lie, or to mislead, or to be dishonest.

      But if I tried to show potential client the tiny risk of a large cash outlay, and explain that the odds were in their favor, most people bailed.

      If I wanted to sleep at night, I had to get out, and I did.

    • Larry says:

      You may be interested in a detailed issue brief dealing with MEGA and other insurers marketing through “discretionary associations”. It is entitled “The Illusion of Group Health Insurance: Discretionary Associations” and was posted by Families USA, one of the most highly thought of nonprofit consumer advocacy organizations in March 2004.

      article

    • Jim says:

      I am a Mega insurance rep. I try and tell my perspective clients everything. The number one issue is “out of pocket expense.” There are different products with different benefits and different premiums. It is my job to help other people everyday (H.O.P.E.) and determine what fits well with the client. I recognize that integrity needs to be returned to this arena of business and as a result of being forthright I have helped many people and received many referrals. Thank you. Jim

    • rosemary roessling says:

      I am looking for a lawyer to help me with Mega Health & Life. They have not wanted to cover my medical bills. I need help!!!!!!!!!
      Rosemary Roessling
      sarose612000@yahoo.com

    • Mike says:

      This is a great testimony. Mark from post number 9 has obviously left the company. If you click on his link it goes to his managers page. This is typical, when an agent at Mega – or HealthMarket – (they changed their name because of pages like this)they start to fight against the negative press and posts eventually they see the light and leave for much greener pastures. Meaning better plans to sell, and much better compensation.

    • Ron says:

      I cannot speak intelligently on the product/service that MEGA/UGA/NASE offers, I was just trained to sell it. I am not one to up and turn on a company, in fact I am a loyalist, but I feel I was lied to and cheated by these people. I was very forthright in my interview with this company when i told them that I needed a steady job with steady pay.

      They hired me fresh out of college and I didnt have two dimes to rub together. 100% commissions was just not an option for me at the time. The leaders of this company were very sympathetic and compassionate towards my situation and boasted about how they paid their employees 74 times per year and handed out “qualified leads” every week.

      They told me is all I had to do was pay the $300 for their training and $350 for the state insurance class and exam (all of this money i had to borrow). After I went through the state course and finished the state exam, I began their training.

      That is when they decided to actually explain their payment scheme and revealed to me that it was in fact 100% commissions and you have to pay for their qualified leads, which I could not afford. The leads that they gave me were anywhere from 3-10 years old, and many of the people that I called on were DEAD.

      After struggling for over a month trying to close a deal I completely ran out of money and didnt even have gas to get to work. I tried to call the leaders of this company to tell them why I had to leave and how unsatisfied I was with how everything played out and none of them would even call me back. I was insulted and outraged that I was just taken to the cleaners by a company that claims to be honest and forthright and NON-PROFIT.

      I cannot tell anyone what to do and what decisions to make, but if they will do this to someone that works for them imagine what they will do to you. I did not know Ron Jensen so I will not discredit his name, but if he is half as good of a man that all of you say he is then YOU are then ones disgracing him with your “drag a dollar through the door” philosophy. There is a right and a wrong way to do a job and I am still trying to unlearn the things that I was taught while working at UGA.

    • peter says:

      Mega Life is a MEGA joke, I sold for 6 months with these thieves and realized if I wanted to keep my license I would quit and I did.

    • Lynn Solters says:

      I’m looking for someone in the massachusetts/new hampshire/rhode island region who has had coverage problems with Mega Life. I’m researching a story. Please respond!

      LS

    • Laura says:

      My question is for Peter, and other agents that left Mega… Did you really have to pay back your advances, even if the clients remained on the books?
      Thanks,
      Laura

    • Scott says:

      When I left Mega (2002), they sent me a bill for about $13,000 giving me 30 days to pay or they would send me to collections.

      I telephoned them, and we settled on 30 cents on the dollar, and had to write a check for about $4400 FedExed within 72 hours. It was worth it to be able to sleep at night…

    • barry says:

      I don’t know if this is ignorance or stupidity but I would like to clarify some things if you will let this be posted. Mega Life and Health has always offered plans that are afordable for the millions that have NO coverage. These plans are scheduled plans with limitations that should be represented. However, for those wanting catostrophic protection Mega offers the best plans in my opinion. Try the Signature or the Care One Plans. The signature you can choose deductible with 100% co-insurance,pays regular charges NOT “reasonable” Care One Plans with deductible then $4,000 co-insurance max. Do your research! I’ll give you a pass and call it ignorance instead of stupidity.

      Barry

    • Scott says:

      Gee thanks for the “pass”, but you’ve neglected to pooint out any inaccuracy in my own statements, so I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

      It’s nice to hear that Mega has now implemented an OOP max (if they have) and that’s what my post said to ask for…so where’s the ingnorance?

      When I sold it, (in 2002-3) there was none, and a 75k hospital bill in Oregon could cost someone 30 grand Out Of Pocket.

    • Scott A says:

      $1500.00 cap on chemo therapy. $1250 on Radiation therapy, Per occurence deductibles. They are the worst plans period. Even the Signature plan sucks. And it is twice as expensive as other plans with much better coverage. Anyone who defends the coverage doesn’t know better, they are blind because they choose not to see.

    • Scott says:

      Wow, another lawsuit against Mega – I’m shocked!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks for this blog; I was doing my homework before meeting with a recruiter. Sounds like the projected incomes are accurate but at other’s expense!

    • slash says:

      Very interesting comments on both Ron Jensen and Mega. I would like to add an interesting twist based on my own personal experience with Mr Jensen. In 1989, I was a young, idealistic professional working for a Florida based insurance company called Orange State Life and Health Insurance Company. This company was owned by UICI, which is an insurance holding company owned by Ron Jensen. Admittedly, I was just learning how the business world operates, and I still believed there was honesty and integrity based in upper management. In the summer of 1989, Mr Jensen came to visit the company to re-assure us that the Orange State headquarters would remain in Florida. For a while, there had been talk that the home office operations would be consolidated to the UICI home office in Irving, Texas. To make a long story short, Mr Jensen assured us (at a company picnic) that our company’s operations would remain in Florida, as he was very satified with our organization. However, within a year, it had been relocated to Irving, Texas. Now in retrospect, it was foolish of me to place trust and confidence in a promise made under the auspices of a company (UICI) that is in business to make a profit through the buying and selling of insurance companies. UICI, an insurance provider that should have had an interest in meeting the contractual obligations to its health insurance policyholders, was truly just a company that wanted to profit from buying under-valued insurance companies, pumping up specific figures in their financials, and then selling them at for profit. Now I understand that Ron Jensen was a generous man, and he gave back to his community. I think this is a wonderful legacy and the one that he should be remembered by. But I think that men who reach the pinnacle of business leadership, as Mr Jensen did, start to justify their actions as ‘just business’ and it is nothing personal. True, the movement of that small insurance company was just a minor event in the overall picture, but its occurrence highlights how business leadership can put profits and ‘business’ above integrity, honesty, and people’s lives. This is endemic in our corporate culture which is why so many workers are losing faith and we are losing our edge in the world economy. Good luck to you all.

    • Phil says:

      The mega rep lied multiple times.
      He told me that the deductble only applied if I
      was hospitalized.
      I got the policy and called the company and
      verified that any medical procedure in a doctors
      office is subject to the deductable.
      The deductable is not yearly, it is for each
      illness so you could probably never meet it.
      For the same premium you can buy real health
      insurance from Blue Cross or Unicare.
      With health care cost getting so high,
      even with insurance you can get stuck paying
      most of your medical expenses out of your pocket.
      In my opinion the main benefit of health insurance is to limit you out of pocket expense
      so that you don’t end up bankrupt.
      I have read that two thirds of all personal
      bankruptcy’s are due to medical bills.
      With my policy there is no out of pocket limit,
      so I don’t have bankruptcy protection.
      In the 1970′s I bought the best health insurance
      you could buy from Prudential and it only cost $500 yearly.
      It was simple without all the loopholes
      companies build in now to keep from paying
      your bill.

    • JC says:

      I knew and worked with Ron Jensen and am sorry to learn he was killed in an auto accident. Ron was a forceful businessman who was also generous and helped hundreds of small business get off the ground and flying. The greatest shame of all these many discussions is we live in a country, the only country in the industrialized world that does not provide all its citizens access to healthcare. Rresponsible and desperate citizens have been forced to buy the most affordable coverage they can find and it was and will never provide resonable coverage….. God rest Ron Jensen and

    • Amy says:

      While looking for health insurance for my family (as my husband is self employed and I will no longer be working as of June), we did meet with an agent of one of MEGA life/NASE subsidiaires today. Having spoken with a different agent from another insurance company over the phone, he emailed me articles from the Boston Globe regarding a lawsuit against MEGA in the state of Massachusetts. While I am not completely sold on the idea that MEGA life and their subsidiaries is trying to scam people, all this information, including this blog will lead me to “google” the following for insurance company that my family considers: lawsuits against (insert insurance company name). Buyer beware, right!

    • Jim Langley says:

      I got a very aggressive rep calling me from Mega to sell me a policy through NASE. I’m in CA. Why should or shouldn’t I sign on the dotted line? I see an A+ rating with Best. What rating does it get with Standard and Poors and the other guys?

      Thanks,
      Jim L.

    • Scott says:

      Since I havent sold insurance in four years, and know nothing about current Mega Policies, especially those sold in California, it would be totally irresponsible of me to give you any input.

      Any readers out there? Current California Mega customers with input?

      If it were me, I would talk to an agent that’s not “captive” like all Mega agents are. Talk to one that offers Blue Cross, and others at a general agency, and ask THEM what the down side of Mega is, (if any).

      Perhaps, as some of the comments have suggested, Mega has now gotten back to the spirit of what Ron Jensen was originally trying to do… Bringing affordable health care to the self employed. All I know is they had completely lost their way at the time I worked there in 2002.

    • tony says:

      I am in IL and am considering MEGA. I have looked over the policy, had my wife do the same, called MEGA and asked about OOP max, and some coverage stuff. They seem to be on the level. We also called the rep. trying to sell us, and asked the same questions, and what do you know, got the same answers.
      They aren’t much less expensive than let’s say BCBS, but they offer the “perks” of being affiliated with the NASE. Has anybody recently, heard bad stuff about them? Many of the negative stuff was posted in 2005. Maybe things have changed since then…hopefully…

    • Scott says:

      I would recommend you check with your local Insurance division for their complaint ratio…

      http://www.idfpr.com/DOI/Default2.asp

    • Ted says:

      I am a former MEGA agent in MA and love reading these blogs from former and current agents, past and present customers and those trying to make a decision on their healthcare. Bottom line, I regret ever going to work for this cheesy and misguided company, and I truly don’t know what I was thinking.

      I was talked into it by a good salesman as are many customers of this company. The longer I was there and more I learned about the whole industry and our policies, I made the decision to leave. And yes, I did have to pay MEGA based upon the amount of business that I had been paid on advance vs. the business that had fallen off the books quickly.

      Am I angry and do I feel ripped off? No, I can only blame myself for ever taking the position. EVERY COMMENT I EVER READ FROM A FORMER AGENT IS TRUE. I can’t stress that enough. Most comments from current agents are still blinded by the MEGA light.

      This company is as close to a cult as exists, and that is the best way to describe it. The health plans offered by this company are great if you never have to use them, and in a way, that is how I was taught to sell them. MA is a guaranteed issue state, so you have the right to switch to another plan regardless of pre-existing conditions and be accepted. So the ploy was….buy MEGA, save lots of money, and if anything major happens, switch to BCBS or another HMO plan that actually covers things.

      The most glaring inadequacy of the MEGA plan has to do with paying room and board charges in a hospital stay. I think the limit was something like $400 a day. Guess what folks, go to a decent hospital like MA General in Boston, and your stay is about $1200 a night. Guess who is paying the difference?

      The whole plan is like that when you really get into the nitty gritty of it. Even the deductible that is supposedly 100% coverage…….it applies to “covered expenses” guess who determines what is considered a covered expense. The problem is, most people don’t ask the questions and they trust the person that is sitting there “helping” them. The other problem is that a decent HMO for a family is about $1200 a month, so when MEGA is only going to be about $500, it is easy to make the wrong decision.

      In conclusion, if you can at all avoid MEGA, and plans like it, I recommend it. It is imperitave that you read the fine print and ask the right questions. Most complaints and lawsuits are a result of “bad” agents, but believe me, it has a lot to do with BAD insurance as well. How many people are suing Blue Cross because of a bad agent? Not many……

    • Erin says:

      I would add to the above recommendation that you take a look at the investigations listed on the California Insurance Commissioner website.

      Also ask to read the policy before purchasing coverage. Then read it very carefully.

      I am currently reviewing a PPO policy issued by Mega that excludes lab work and diagnostic testing unless performed during a hospitalization.

      The exclusions are not clearly listed in the policy. The policy does not say “excluding CAT scan, x-rays, lab work…”

      Instead it has language that is buried in the Exclusion and Limitation section that says “charges for which benefits are not specifically provided for in this Certificate” are not covered.

      This language does not resonate with most people until they recieve an explanation of benefits denying coverage that falls under this catch all provision. The PPO that I am reviewing appears to be a very well written attempt to avoid covering the insured during any serious illness.

      Another place to look before purchasing the coverage is UICI’s (now HealthMarket Inc.)annual report’s. These reports can be found on the UICI website and list numerous law suits where UICI and NASE were defendants.

      Finally, keep in mind that insurance is not intended to cover you when you are healthy. It is protection in case you become unhealthy. If a policy is only good if you are healthy then it is not worth the paper it is written on.

    • Scott says:

      Wow – sounds sneaky

    • Peter says:

      Stay away from MEGA–they are liars. I regret the day I fell for their scam.

    • Elena says:

      I haven’t seen any reference to AFS in conjunction with Mega Life on this thread. I am scheduled to go in tomorrow with my brand new insurance agent license and start work. I am by no means a novice in understanding what is like out there since my brother was a successful agent for many years.

      I’ve looked through all the documents on the stand alone association (Americans for Financial Security). The savings are brilliant in regards to legal help, road assistance, and hospital confinement alone because I pay more for AAA, Prepaid Legal and AFLAC in a year. Plus the membership offers many extra benefits that I find beneficial to a small business owner which I have been for years.

      But the insurance portion with Mega life does concern me. In this arena, I am a novice and everything said here worries me. I am very moral and cannot withhold important information from anyone. It is unethical and if this is the premise for Mega Life, I am not sure if it’s the right path for me.

      Where IS an ethical company? Are there any out there?

    • Ted says:

      Some of the AFS and NASE benefits are ok, I wouldn’t call them brilliant. You really aren’t selling those so much as you are the insurance, so I would be very sure about that. People don’t really care so much about the association benefits, and you certainly aren’t making your money on those. I don’t believe the premise of MEGA is really unethical, I think they really believe they are an alternative to traditional HMO plans, it’s just a very poor alternative. There are people out there for whom these catastrophic plans are good, just not a lot of people.

    • Robert says:

      I was recently interviewed and asked to be an agent with UGA. After reading this I am not sure I still want to work with them!! If any agents (past or present) could give me some advice, please let me know. My e-mail is robdawg48@hotmail.com

    • lynn says:

      Wow…this is enlightening and confusing. I just met with an agent yesterday and asked him to hold my appl. so I could confer with my husband. I got the “better send it in because if you end up with a pre existing condition you will only be insurable by bcbs.” I asked him to hold it a week……Now after reading this, I am going to go through the info he left with a fine tooth comb. I was told you could add and remove riders as you wish. Now I am being told you have to take the prescription benefit and then cancel it if you don’t want it. Sounds like a way to boost sales numbers. He also told me you could cancel the NASE membership after a couple of months. I told him I wasn’t happy with the hard sell and he of course apologized and backed down. I agree that there are problems with the whole industry. It’s horrible that these insurance companies blame huge increases on the cost of medical care when in fact it is to increase their profits to build palacial offices and pay their executives multi million dollar bonuses. The Mega agent claims that they have never had a double digit % increase in the 15 years he has been there and that they set a “profit level” and if the exceed that they keep rates at current levels and provide more riders. But he did mention the great trips the top sales people go on yearly….this coming one/…. the top 125 people get an all expense paid trip to Hawaii….Everything included for sales person and wife……great incentive to sell at all costs. I think I will continue to look.

    • Ted says:

      RobDawg—– as a former MEGA agent that sold for about 9 months, I would definitely find another company to work for. It all sounds warm and fuzzy in the beginning, but as you are there for a while you will realize the mistake you made.
      Lynn—-your story sounds very familiar—–run from MEGA—do not buy their policy

    • Jason says:

      haha you guys are stupid if you open the policy book and you know how to read english the year out of pocket is printed in black and white haha were not selling cars here people You can’t just lie about health insurance

    • Scott says:

      Hi, Jason, you’re right. It’s all right there in the policy in black and white. If people would just read it, then everything is defined. You’ll go far selling insurance, I have no doubt.

      Legally, it’s the buyers responsibility to know exactly what they’re buying, and policies within the same company vary year to year and state to state.

    • Dan says:

      Not that I believe this will make any difference to someone who has found a nitche bashing a company whose primary fault is firing agents who bend the rules, paying out more than they legally have to in some instances (katrina, sf earthquake), and in those instances waving their customer’s premiums without ever requesting repayment because they have a corporate motto that is Helping Other People Everyday. They point is not to try to defend a company that has gone above and beyond my personal expectations in my coverage, but to ask you to either

      1. Do your research on every other individual health insurance carrier out there before you are willing to allow your ignorance to be published, or
      2. Stop your fear creating blog from terrifying those who are actually in a place to take advantage of the incredible benefits of these memberships as well as the health insurance.

      I know anyone who would capitalize on a great man’s passing just so they could create their own people-will-listen-to-me-if-I-create-enough-fear kingdom will dismiss any point of reality that may challenge the foundation of your critics corner, but the reason I entered this is to hopefully offer a light of truth in this cesspool of fear based lies.

      (FYI, Ron Jensen made his millions before purchasing MEGA and his purpose was to create a company that helped people with integrity)

      I ask you, give up your kingdom for the good of those who want to do what’s right & might listen to you as a source of legitimacy.

    • Scott says:

      Nice Dan – you sound quite morally superior.

      I wouldn’t exactly call this a niche I built… this was a blog post in 2005. Yet two years later, disgruntled customers and agents still come here and post comments why is that?

      I can tell you for a fact that I was a trained agent, and I was trained using lies, that I have no doubt my trainer believed, because that’s how she was trained too.

      The primary lie which I told to hundreds of prospective buyers until I found out it wasn’t true was that one of our largest competitors “Fortis” did not cover self-employed people on the job.

      insurance is a slimy business, and I’m glad to be out of it for over 4 years. if Mega was forced to clean up their act by the regulatory commissions in each state, then that’s good for the buyer.

      You did say one thing that made sense… “Do your research on every other individual health insurance carrier out there”

      Now I’m closing comments on this post, because it’s been beat to death.

    • Kumeshan says:

      Kumeshan…

      I always enjoy coming to this site because you offer great tips and advice for people like me who can always use a few good pointers. I will be getting my friends to pop around fairly soon….