Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about an increase in fraudulent activity related to the launch of the Affordable Care Act. The open enrollment period begins today, October 1, and scammers understand that many Americans are confused about their rights and responsibilities with the new program.
BBB warns, beware of fake websites, fancy mailers, robo-calls, and scam artists calling you, asking for personal information.
BBB serving Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Western Kentucky prescribes the following:
Don’t pay for free advice; trained and certified helpers are not allowed to charge for their services.
Hold onto current insurance cards; coverage will continue and there is no need for special new insurance or Medicare cards.
Learn the difference between medical discount plans and health insurance plans; discount plans alone will not satisfy the law’s minimum coverage requirements.
Hang up on “government officials” who call, text, or email to “verify” personal information; government agencies will not make these types of requests.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 15.4% of Americans do not have health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, those who are uninsured may face fines for not acquiring coverage.
BBB reminds insurance shoppers:
Don’t trust caller IDs. Scammers possess the technology to spoof caller IDs, displaying any phone number or organization name they please.
Don’t press any buttons and don’t call back. Some reports indicate that initial calls are automated and request that recipients dial numbers to enter account information or reach representatives; don’t do it.
Don’t give out personal information. Never give personal information to unsolicited callers; avoid sharing Social Security Numbers, birthdates, or medical information.
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act or the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit healthcare.gov. To stay current on other local scams, check out the BBB at www.bbb.org.