Scams Coming With Health Reform In October, Coalition Warns
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Fake navigators likely will exploit their seeming authority to try and steal consumers’ sensitive financial information once open-enrollment launches under health reform October 1, warns the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
Dangerous identity-theft schemes likely will surface, arousing widespread concerns that swindlers will maneuver to exploit consumer confusion about the Affordable Care Act, the Coalition says.
Navigators are the trusted frontline workers who will answer consumer questions and help people enroll for coverage.
But crooks may forge legitimate credentials or invent official-looking identification. These knockoff navigators may tell consumers that they are required to provide bank-account, Social Security and credit-card information supposedly to enroll.
Or they may ask people to fill out bogus enrollment forms. Fake navigators also might illegally charge an “enrollment fee” or expensive insurance premiums.
Bogus navigators might sell fake health insurance as well. Consumers could be saddled with large medical bills when their purported plan refuses to pay up. Other concerns:
Navigator infiltrators. Swindlers may be properly trained and receive legitimate navigator credentials from their exchange, then abuse that authority to steal financial information or charge premiums or fees.
Fake exchange websites. Seemingly authentic websites might invite consumers to enroll in an exchange by “requiring” them to input their financial information.
Senior thefts. Schemers could say they’re selling seniors supplemental Medicare or other coverage. They’d lie that they represent “Obamacare” or that the coverage is required under the ACA.
Fake health insurance. Pretending they’re navigators or generic federal officials, swindlers might try to sell bogus health coverage. After paying expensive premiums, consumers also may be saddled with large medical bills when their purported health plan refuses to pay up.
Consumers can protect themselves by watching for red flags of fraud. Learn the warnings and general health-reform information their exchange sends out:
-- Know what real navigator credentials look like. -- Do not allow a supposed navigator to sign you up for a specific health plan, or to charge fees and health premiums. -- Learn what your state exchange website looks like, and how it operates. -- Fill out enrollment forms honestly, be informed about your prepared to ask navigators detailed questions. -- Visit www.healthcare.gov to find your exchange website and learn more about health reform.
James Quiggle, Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
SOURCE Coalition Against Insurance Fraud