Beware and other 'affordable insurance' sites

Beware affordable health insurance sites.
Beware affordable health insurance sites.

About 50 million Americans -- one in six of us -- don't have health insurance, the census said last month. At the same time, health care fraud -- from useless discount cards to outright bogus insurance plans -- is a growing dark market. Where do a majority of Americans now turn to get health information? The Internet, of course, which we know is full of useless sites and even some harmful ones like this one that you should avoid.

This site ranks remarkably high in Google for search terms "find affordable health insurance." At first glance it seems like a relatively standard gateway to plan comparisons and possibly quotes from insurance companies. But the site is actually nothing of the sort. At best it's a lead generator, designed to steer your query to insurance sellers. But don't let those rotating logos on the home page of well-known companies fool you, as deep in its back pages the site disclaims any specific affiliations with insurance companies. At worst, this site will take your personally identifiable information and private health information -- both legal terms -- and sell them to whomever will pay.