Consumer Confidential: Walgreens insurance, ‘phantoms’


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Here’s your toast-of-the-town Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Perhaps you’d like some health insurance with your aspirin? Walgreens is planning to start selling health insurance to customers this fall. The nation’s largest drugstore chain reportedly will sell policies with different price ranges and coverage levels through a private health insurance exchange. Walgreens isn’t commenting officially yet, but a spokesman says the company is ‘looking at a number of options in light of healthcare reform as we continue to seek ways to help our customers better navigate today’s healthcare system.’ Healthcare reform mandates the creation of federal- and state-funded public health insurance exchanges by 2014 that will offer subsidized insurance for uninsured and under-insured people. But a number of private companies are also expected to get in on the act.

--Are you an online dater? If so, beware of phantoms. A class-action lawsuit claims that more than 90% of potential dates on are canceled subscribers, people who never subscribed, duplicates or phantoms the company created to snare its $40 monthly subscription fee. knows this, yet still collects $39.99 a month from its subscribers, the suit alleges. ‘At bottom, is a scam,’ Jesse Kaposi of Northern California said in the suit, filed in federal district court in Dallas. He said he received electronic come-ons from would-be dates who don’t have active accounts, indicating that the website was merely teasing him. No response from to the lawsuit’s allegations.


-- David Lazarus