Potentially, 50 million people could sign-up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
That’s 50 million people who could potentially be scammed. With so little actually being understood about ACA “Obamacare” and the problems brought on by massive computer glitches during sign-up it’s become a perfect storm for scammers.
The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois says there are a number of scams that consumers must watch out for. Leading the list are these:
• Fees For Service — Scammers pose as Affordable Care Act Advisors who will help you get enrolled through one of the exchanges. The scam: There are trained and certified ACA Advisors, however, they are not allowed to accept money for their services.
• Medicare Coverage — Senior Citizens are being told they will need new Medicare Cards because of the ACA. The scam: They provide Social Security numbers and financial information for new cards that are not required.
• Medical Discount Plans — Scammers call offering medical discount plans that provide needed coverage and avoids penalties for lack of coverage. The scam: Medical discount plans are not insurance they are programs offered by specific clinics, doctors, and pharmacies. They are also a window to identity theft.
• Government Imposters — Individuals call acting as “government officials” who offer assistance in enrollment or provide answers to questions about your insurance plan. To do this they will need your personal information. The scam: No government official will call, email, or text you about your insurance options.
“To avoid being scammed is simple” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Don’t engage in conversations over the phone, don’t give out personal information, and don’t provide any payment information unless you have checked out the business offering you services.”
For more tips and information about scams, visit bbb.org.
— The Better Business Bureau