In March 2017, a British health insurer sold a $4,500 “medicare poster” that it said was an inexpensive way to advertise to doctors and other health care professionals.
The poster featured an image of a large health plan sign with the words “Premium” and “Medicare” emblazoned in white, in a windowed box with a caption reading, “Premium Health Care”.
The poster was a promotional tool to help doctors and health care workers communicate the benefits of their plans to their patients.
But the poster was actually a marketing tool for a company called Aetna, which had already sold the poster to the UK health insurer Covid.
The British health insurance regulator said the poster violated the Advertising Code and was in breach of the Consumer Rights Act, which prohibits deceptive or misleading advertising.
But in March 2018, Covid agreed to pay $1 million in damages and to buy back the poster, which is now on display at the Covid UK store.
The U.K. has a different law, which outlaws misleading advertising that targets people with disabilities.
Covid and Aetana are appealing their cases.
The American Association of Retired Persons says the U.S. government is responsible for regulating health insurance.
It also says health insurers should not be allowed to sell posters that are misleading because it harms people with physical or mental disabilities.