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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Settles with Discount Health Card Company
Peoples Benefit Services, Inc. Agrees to Change Advertising

Baltimore, MD (August 10, 2007) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement with Pennsylvania-based Peoples Benefit Services, Inc., a provider of discount prescription, health and dental cards. The discount cards, which cost $5.95 per month, promised consumers discounts off of the regular price of medical, dental and/or prescription services. The Division alleged that Peoples Benefit used solicitations to falsely claim an endorsement by or affiliation with the Social Security Administration; created the appearance that it was offering health insurance for only a limited period of time or to a limited set of consumers; and, misled consumers about the savings achieved by plan members. Peoples Benefit denied the accusations, but agreed to limitations on its future advertising and to pay consumer restitution.

Peoples Benefit agreed not to use solicitations that make it appear as if they are approved by or affiliated with a government program. They also agreed not to use various names, including "Senior Security," and agreed not to use titles whose initials spell "SS," "SSI," or "SSA." The company further agreed not to create the impression that the discount card was an insurance product. They will no longer use a false sense of urgency to persuade consumers to respond to the solicitation. Peoples Benefit also agreed to not make any future savings claim without having proof behind the claim and clearly and will conspicuously stating the basis for the claim. The company will pay $100,000 in restitution and costs.

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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