It’s open season for everyone who wants to switch health coverage. As you select your health insurance plan, watch out for scams. Whether you are on Medicare, selecting a
plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or have private insurance, here are some tips to help you more safely navigate the open enrollment season.
A variety of scams take advantage of Medicare recipients. Here are a few:
An “official Medicare agent” knocks on your door selling Medicare insurance that can save you money. Stop. It’s a scam. There are no Medicare sales representatives. It’s probably someone who wants to use your information to commit fraud or identity theft.
Someone calls and says you must join their prescription plan or else you’ll lose your Medicare coverage. Don’t believe it. The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is voluntary.
Someone calls claiming that you need to give your Medicare number in order for you to keep your Medicare coverage under ACA. It’s a scam. Don’t give your personal information over the phone. If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to medicare.gov.
Affordable Care Act
If you are shopping in the Health Insurance Marketplace, only shop at HealthCare.gov.
People who try to sign you up elsewhere may be scammers. If you’re overwhelmed, you
can find free official helpers at HealthCare.gov. Official helpers will never ask for money
or try to sell you a particular plan.
Another important tip: the government will not call to sell you health insurance. And no
one from the government will ask you to verify your Social Security number or bank
information over the phone.
If you’re looking for health insurance, make sure that’s what you’re buying. Be on the
lookout for medical discount plans. They’re not the same as health insurance, even
though they sometimes pretend to be.
Many of these plans are scams that don’t deliver on the services promised.
Others are just a way for identity thieves to get your personal information.
Your state insurance commissioner’s office can tell you if a plan isn't insurance and whether the seller is licensed in your state.
Report health care scams
If you think you may be a victim of a health care scam, report it to the FTC. If the scam
is Medicare-related, report it at medicare.gov.
If you gave out personal information, then call your banks, credit card providers, health
insurance company, and credit reporting agencies immediately.
Always be on the look-out for scammers, the Identity Thief never sleeps except to dream up new ways to steal your hard earned money