Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ameriplan Review

I know some people who work for Ameriplan from home so I decided to investigate that opportunity today.

It's not an easy one to just ask someone about. The reason why is that this is a job where you make residual income. Basically, you make money off of referring others to either work for Ameriplan or buy the benefits.  So, when you ask someone who works for Ameriplan about their job they do not want to usually just divulge all the information.  They usually get a hungry look in their eye and start salivating.  Then they will  often try to lock you down in a lunch or a long vague conversation where you become a potential recruit.  I do not begrudge anyone this, it's their livelihood, but I wanted to find some objective info.

The biggest plus I saw right away was that all the sites say that you get a GREAT benefits package for your household that includes-
*Health, Legal Services, Financial Services, Roadside Assistance, Identity Theft (Freedom Pass)
*Dining, Shopping, Entertainment, Auto Discount Plan (Freedom Pass)
*Discounts at many top stores from Dell, Office Depot, 1-800-Flowers and many more
*401k Option (at $1,000+/ month)
*Disability and Dismemberment
*Dental and Medical Benefits
I also saw it described this way:
 
Now, these benefits are not free.  They are "at no extra cost."  See, it costs to work for Ameriplan.  This does break my cardinal rule of "never paying to work."
There are 3 Levels you can purchase as an agent that sells Ameriplan Benefits or as a recruiter.  They range from $50-$150 a month.  The more you pay the larger percent you make off of your sales/ sign ups.
There are also start up costs that range from $70-$170.
Now, if you do not have medical benefits and you need them, $50-$150 a month is a steal, assuming Ameriplan benefits are any good.  So, I want to believe in you Ameriplan, really I do.
But wait.  Ameriplan is not health benefits.  That's right, they use the word benefits because they are giving you the benefit of having a medical and prescription discount card, but a discount card does not = medical benefits.  This is confusing.  And the people that buy the plan are almost never aware of this.  
This from Medsave
"First, Ameriplan is not a health insurance plan. Ameriplan is a multilevel marketing company promoting a discount pricing plan that might help some consumers save money. The company is clear about this fact on its official marketing materials, unfortunately some of Ameriplan's unlicensed marketing representatives fail to mention this very important fact up front in their marketing. The Ameriplan marketing we often see tends to focus on the emotion-packed issue of health care affordability so that consumers lose sight of what they are buying. It seems obvious that when low cost health insurance is available in the same price as a discount plan, the insurance is always a better option. Low priced limited benefit health insurance plans like Basic Health Insurance, short term medical insurance, Value Med and Value Hospitalization already include the full benefits of a PPO discount plan so in a sense these plans contain two types of benefits - insurance and discount PPO pricing. Intermediate priced plans like Core Health Insurance provide even better values.
The main shortcoming of Ameriplan as a discount plan is that consumers must pay for medical treatment at the time of service and then submit the bill for re-pricing at a later date. (This consumer warning is clearly printed in bold red ink on Ameriplan's Web site). In contrast, health insurance contracts typically allow the patient to defer their portion of the payment (other than deductible of co-payment) for at least as long as it takes for the insurance company to process the claim. This helps consumers "buy time" and budget their medical expenses, especially when treatment is needed on an emergency basis."

 Ouch!

They go on to list 7 or 8 other reasons Ameriplan is highly inadequate such as not including any hospitals in the plan.





Okay, so if you join Ameriplan you do not get health benefits.  How about the legal services?  Well, those are for legal consultations only.  I believe most lawyers do give you a free consultation anyway.  Roadside assistance you can get through AAA for about $50 a YEAR rather than a month and you'd get the same kind of discounts at stores and restaurants with them as well.
They boast that you get a backend website but most MLM's give you this free of charge as well as the trainings they say are also included with your payments.

So, the final question is- Are people making money with this?  And the answer is:  Yes, some people are.  Some people made nothing and as you can imagine even LOST money in this business venture but others who are more sales savvy have made money.  However, they usually either believe they are helping people by offering them low cost health benefits, or they are deceiving others into believing this.  

Ameriplan is making money from the reps who sign up and pay them every month.  They are not offering much as far as a substantial product.  To me, I believe this makes it pretty close to a pyramid scam.  Not EXACTLY a pyramid scam because they are offering something, even if it is only slight discounts, but it's pretty close.  I cannot say I'd recommend this opportunity.

I went into this one with an open mind but there were red flags all the way through.

1) People who work for them are vague when you ask about it.  If you come right out and ask them if it is a health benefit plan they often beat around the bush.  They all use carefully rehearsed wording.  There are many MLM's where I have seen this and none of them have been good.

2) You pay to have this job.  And not only once, but every month.  If this company was selling something worth having why would it need to charge its sales reps to work?  Have you ever heard of a position in the corporate world where the sales teams pay the company monthly?

3) There is no real product.  There is nothing you can actually see and touch.  It's basically just a glorified, overpriced shopping club.
  
Always look for red flags like these when exploring new opportunities.  Never pay to work (if you need materials one time or to pay for your phone line or gasoline that is fine- a recurring charge is different).  Make sure you are actually selling something you can believe in and see to it that others believe in it, too.  They should all believe in it so much that they can tell you everything about it and there is nothing to hide.

To sum it all up, here is Simon Cowell.

Wait, don't go!!!

Don't let this review stop you from finding a great work at home job!  Real work is out there and this blog is all about helping people find legitimate work they can do from home that costs them nothing!
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