The Affordable Care Act (called “Obamacare” by advocates and detractors alike) has become a fertile field for con artists. Now that the enrollment window is about to expire, here’s a sampling of scams currently being foisted on an unsuspecting public.
* Get a new health insurance card or face jail time. It’s true that most people are required to purchase health insurance under the new law. But jail time? No. The penalty (in 2014) for failing to buy insurance is 1% of your income or $95, whichever is greater. This is just another scare tactic designed to steal your identity. You’re told to sign up for a (totally unnecessary) health insurance card via a website that collects confidential data. Don’t fall for it.
* Sign in to my fake exchange. Under the new law, helpers called “navigators” have been given the job of assisting consumers who want to enroll via newly established state websites. Of course, fraudsters know how to set up websites too, even official-looking ones. Again, the goal is to get your personal information. If in doubt, contact your state’s department of insurance.
* Young adult? You need our insurance. One provision of the new act allows young adults (under age 26) to remain on their parents’ insurance policy. Confusion over this part of the law provides an open door for scammers. If your children meet the age requirements, they don’t need to buy a separate policy.
* Don’t forget your “death panel” insurance. Obamacare doesn’t provide for “death panels” that make end-of-life decisions for seniors. You don’t need insurance to protect you from this nonexistent contingency.
* Buy Obamacare insurance over the phone or at your doorstep. If someone calls on the phone or shows up at your front door claiming to be from the federal government, tell them to wait while you verify their credentials. They’ll likely hang up or leave in short order. In fact, federal agencies don’t make cold calls, send unsolicited emails, or go door-to-door trying to sell insurance or gather personal information.
Want to avoid becoming a victim of Obamacare fraud? Learn about the law. And, as always, keep your personal information under lock and key.
Feel free to call the office if we can be of any help.
Tags: Obamacare scams
Written by: Doug Rodrigues