Health Insurance Exchange: Phone Scam Overview
Staying healthy should be one of the top priorities that you have. In order to remain in good health, you will have to find the right medical professionals to treat the ailments that you have. But, getting good medical care can be a bit easier said than done depending on your insurance.
The Affordable Care Act was passed in order to give all Americans a chance to get sufficient insurance coverage. However, whenever new comprehensive government programs are created, you can bet that scammers are looking for a way to take advantage of the general public.
Phone scammers had been targeting the elderly and disabled for many years with Medicare phone scams, and now with the Affordable Care Act they can target even more people.
It Starts With a Call
The way that this type of scam originates is with a phone call. The person on the other end of the line will claim to be a representative of the government. They will claim that their main goal is to help protect you as you navigate your way through the insurance marketplace.
The scammer will say they need to get your personal information and other sensitive information, like your bank account. They explain that they need this information in order to sign you up and make sure that you get coverage.
There are other variations of this scam in which the scammers will claim that they are with a Medicare program and that you need to change your coverage in order to get certain benefits. The scammer will ask you to give them all of your personal information.
The only reason these calls are made is to get your personal information for the purpose of ripping you off.
Avoiding Health Insurance Scams
To avoid this phone scam make sure that you know about various parts of the Affordable Care Act. If you receive health insurance through the Affordable Care Act or Medicare know what your plan is, and know that you will not receive any sort of call asking you to make changes in your plan.
It's also very important to know when open enrollment is, this is the period in which you can sign up for health insurance. Every year open enrollment is from November 1st to January 31st. This is the only time in which you can sign up for the Affordable Care Act or Medicare, unless you have been granted a special enrollment period. Special enrollment periods are only granted under certain circumstances, like having a baby or losing your other healthcare coverage.
If someone calls you outside of the open enrollment period asking to enroll you in health insurance or change your health insurance this is an automatic red flag that they are a scammer.
Warning Others About This Scam
In order to be a part of the solution and stop health insurance phone scams, you will need to report the phone call you received. You can report healthcare related fraud to the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA), which has great resources on how to report these types of scams. You should also report any phone calls that you believe to be a scam to the FTC.
To let others in your community know about these scams you can use CallerSmart's phone number lookup app to identify unknown calls and report healthcare phone scams. If you don't have an iPhone or iPad, you can still run reverse phone lookups on suspicious numbers and leave your feedback on our website.