Protect Yourself from Affordable Care Act Scams
- Posted in: Current Affairs
Even though the Federal government is currently shut down, as this country moves toward the changes brought forth by the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, you should beware of the potential for the theft of your personal information.
Remember, whenever a natural disaster or tragedy occurs or a new law goes into effect, scammers are out there with schemes to catch us off guard. They know we live busy lives and that its likely we haven’t had time to familiarize ourselves with the new law, and they hope to take advantage of the situation.
One related scheme already making the rounds is a phone call purportedly from a government employee who tells you that your household has been chosen to be among the first ones to receive health insurance cards as part of the new healthcare law. Before they can mail out the new health insurance cards, however, they need to first verify some data, which includes your name, address, Social Security Number, and banking account information.
Other scammers are telling seniors that they will lose access to their personal doctors or worse – their entire Medicare coverage – unless they obtain a new card or enroll in a certain Medicare plan. These claims are completely false. This new law does not require people with Medicare coverage to obtain any new insurance plan.
Sometimes these callers will offer to help you understand the new Health Insurance marketplace for a fee. Do not give them payment information. While there are people who are qualified to offer assistance with the new law, they are not allowed to take payment for their services.
Also, be careful of new unsolicited offers for discounted products or health services related to the Affordable Care Act. Many of these offers are not legitimate. These fraudulent offers and discounts may even be disguised as health insurance, or the caller may even claim to be an insurance agent who wants to offer you a “special deal” or help you avoid a penalty.
For seniors, the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans was not changed by the new law, so don’t let a scammer convince you otherwise.
As with all unsolicited contact asking for personal information, the only safe approach to an unexpected call is to not divulge anything about your personal information.
When searching for information about the Affordable Care Act on your own, be cautious of imposter websites designed to look like they are legitimate sources of information. Since each state can decide its approach to making sure its citizens are compliant with the Act, it is important to know where to seek this information. California provides its own resource website called Covered California. It’s website address is: www.coveredca.com. You can also found helpful information on the federal government’s website.
I hope you find this information helpful to protect yourself from the scammers.