Taking Health Care Scams Off the Market
Starting October 1, people will have new ways to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. As opening day approaches, the media will no doubt carry more stories about the Health Insurance Marketplace, how to enroll, and where to get legitimate help. Now that’s the kind of news you can use.
One other piece of news that’s useful: federal and state agencies are working together to encourage consumers to report scammers who use the Health Insurance Marketplace as bait. And they are working together to investigate the leads they get and ultimately, build successful cases to shut those scammers down. Consumers already have filed related complaints with the FTC: some complaints deal with scam artists who are playing the “hurry up” card, allegedly trying to hustle people into revealing their personal information to get a new Medicare card. Other complaints reportedly deal with the sale of worthless medical discount plans. Still others deal with alleged imposters who claim to be “from the government,” asking people to verify their Social Security or bank account numbers.
The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, just held a meeting to talk about how consumers can recognize frauds that play off the Health Insurance Marketplace and where to report them. You can read all about it here. To learn about your health care options and where to find legitimate local people in the know, go to www.healthcare.gov