Saturday, March 9, 2013

Partners In Health Care Allegedly Scamming Hispanics In Wisconsin

Images of PIHC cards posted in FB courtesy of Rosi Dominguez/Margaret Carrasco

Several Facebook users are warning other users of an alleged Partners In Health Care scam to get bank account information to later clean out PIHC card users accounts.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 9, 2013

Appleton,  WI - On Friday, several Facebook users (FB) posted images of multiple Partners In Health Care, Inc. (PIHC/www.pihc1 dot com) cards, which the company provides to those who enroll in their health care saving programs. The FB users claim it's another scam to get people to provide their bank account information to enroll on the programs.
They posted comments on FB to warn others that some PIHC card users have had their bank accounts cleaned out or emptied after providing financial information to the company. PIHC is spending large amounts of advertising dollars in the local Spanish language La GranD 104.7 FM radio station to lure unsuspecting customers, according to FB users.
PIHC operates out of Appleton, Wisconsin and representatives could not be reached for comment concerning the allegations from FB users that it lacks to provide savings for health care users as it claims and some people have been wiped out of their money from bank accounts while enrolled on PIHC programs.
So far, no victims have come forward to file a complaint with law enforcement officials in Wisconsin or the WI Department of Justice. 
PIHC in their website states, "The Advantage Savings Programs, provide money-saving solutions for your family's health care expenses, as well as, other valuable benefits and services. These programs can be used alone or with your current health insurance plan to save you and your family money on many different types of medical, dental, vision, prescription, pet care, and other expenses." It also states, that it has saved card users at least $1,806,873.27.
A check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in WI identified PIHC as a Medical-Dental Discount Plans and has given a D- from a scale of A+ to F and is not BBB Accredited.
The BBB provided the following information about PIHC complaints it received. 

(1) On December 15, 2011, Partners in Health Care, Inc informed BBB that it markets a medical benefits discount program, and that it does not sell medical insurance. However, BBB has received a pattern of complaints against Partners in Health Care Inc, in which consumers allege that the product they were sold was misrepresented, and dissatisfaction with the product they received. The company disputes this and responds to all complaints filed with the BBB by providing an explanation of their position. 

(2) On December 21, 2011, BBB asked Partners in Health Care Inc (PIHC), to provide information regarding other services it claimed to offer on its website. In particular, the company's website lists financial planning, tax preparation, and credit repair as some of the services offered on their website as benefits of Partners in Health Care. BBB also asked the company to clarify the products being offered under the names "Allied Veterans" and "Tri Resource."  

(3) On April 2, 2012, BBB met with Gary Kieper, owner of Partner's in Health Care, Inc. According to Mr. Kieper, his company does not sell the medical discount plan, a third party, separately owned company, contracted by Mr. Kieper does. As well, Mr. Kieper clarified that his company does not offer credit repair, tax preparation or financial planning services on their own - PIHC merely provides a list of companies attained through the state. The lists which PIHC pulls are public record, anyone can pull the lists. During the meeting, BBB also requested the names of 10 customers that had successfully enrolled in and utilized PIHC's services. Mr. Kieper declined to provide any names of customers. 

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