The Affordable Healthcare Act was released a few months ago, but not without backlash, of course. With so many American citizens lacking knowledge about Obamacare, many individuals have been subject to new scams.
You probably think you know better than to fall for a conman’s tactics, but a scammer will use any sign of confusion to his advantage. Luckily for you, we know the four most common scams regarding the Healthcare Act, and we are going to help your identity – and money – stay safe and secure!
1. Medicare Scams
Although only a few changes are made to senior healthcare under the Obamacare act, scammers still find ways to target elders on Medicare and play tricks on them.
The newest scheme for Medicare is telling people that, due to the Affordable Healthcare Act, they will need a new Medicare card. Scammers are looking to get ahold of people’s Medicare’s number, which is the same as their Social Security number. This allegation is completely false; you will not need a new Medicare card.
Scammers seem to have always targeted Medicare members. After Hurricane Sandy, the scam was to lure people to get “waterproof” Medicare cards. You should never tell someone your Medicare number over the phone.
2. Phantom Health Exchanges
Health insurance “exchanges” seem to be becoming increasingly popular these days. With the confusion over Obamacare, scammers are issuing fake state health insurance exchanges. You are likely to see these types of schemes advertised all over the internet.
A Nevada based company did a study and found that most of the exchanges advertise “$29 per month” health coverage – as this is what the average family can afford.
The basics of this scam are the same as all the rest – getting your personal information in order to steal your identity or money – or both.
3. “Death Panels” Insurance
When Obamacare was first being drafted, there was a rumor speculating that the law would have a type of ‘death panel’ which made death related decisions for seniors – which is completely bogus. However, a suggestion that did NOT make it into the final revision of the law required Medicare to pay doctors for the time they spent discussing advanced care options with their elderly patients. This did not become part of Obamacare!
Scammers are cashing in on citizens’ fear, and lack of knowledge regarding this somewhat unethical presumption. Any offer regarding the ‘death panel’ is definitely a scam, because there is no such clause.
4. The “National Healthcare Card”
This is perhaps one of the most popular Obamacare related schemes. A scammer poses as a federal employee, claiming that a caller has been selected to be one of the first to receive a brand new, government issued, health insurance card under Obamacare – but not without getting your personal information first.
Except, there isn’t a national healthcare card. If someone approaches you about this nonsense, do not give them any information.
Even if you are not entirely sure what The Affordable Healthcare Act has to offer, or how it will affect you, that doesn’t mean you need to be subject to the scams associated with it! One of the biggest indicators that a call, email, or advertisement is a scam is if it mentions Obamacare even once (since no official will refer to the Act with such a casual name).
If you suspect a fraudster is trying to take advantage of this new health movement, follow these steps to report scam phone calls. Besides just reporting scam phone calls, there are processes available for reporting phishing (email scams) and online fraudsters. Help keep yourself and others safe.
Carefully guard your personal information at all times and you’ll stay safe from Obamacare scammers!
About the Author:
Ellen Gunderson works for a consumer protection agency. She is well aware of the fact that fraudsters and scammers take advantage of nearly every opportunity available. Sadly, healthcare is no exception.