Later this year, the Affordable Care Act (often known as Obamacare) is going to take effect. This is a significant change in American healthcare policy, and scammers have been taking advantage of the confusion to commit all kinds of fraud and identity theft.

In fact, the FTC has found that healthcare fraud has been on the rise lately, and will likely continue to increase until October. Let’s talk about how to spot the scams and avoid any problems when you’re ready to make the switch over to Obamacare.

 

The Obamacare Card Scam

One of the most popular healthcare scams that’s been circulating as the October 1st Affordable Care Act deadline approaches is known as the “Obamacare card.” It’s a technique used by fraudsters to steal consumers’ credit card information and Social Security numbers.

How does the Obamacare card scam work? Basically, victims get a phone call from someone claiming to represent the government. The caller informs them that they need this insurance card to be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, or they may say the Obamacare card provides extra discounts. They ask for private personal information so they can send you the card.

But there’s no such thing as an Obamacare card — you’re just giving your info to scammers and identity thieves.

A color photo of the White House.

Obama care goes into effect in October, and the FTC expects the number of related scams to rise in the meantime.

The Information Update Scam

Another popular scam involves fraudsters posing as Medicare officials. These fake Medicare representatives call consumers and say they’re updating or verifying personal information. The consumers are told that they might face some sort of consequence if they don’t comply.

The Sacramento Bee has more:

“…impostors claiming to be from Medicare told consumers they needed to hand over their personal or financial information in order to continue eligibility because ‘change is on the horizon.’

But nothing in the Affordable Care Act threatens existing benefits or medicare Enrollees…”

In other words, you shouldn’t be getting any Medicare calls because of the Affordable Care Act. If you have concerns about your Medicare benefits, don’t respond to a cold-caller. Instead, contact your Medicare representatives directly.

 

Fake Coverage and Mandatory Payments Scams

A color photo of someone holding a stethoscope up to a piggy bank.

So-called “navigators” will be in place to help you figure out Obamacare, and their services should be free.

Some of the most audacious scammers  are even selling fake coverage. That’s right — if you’re not careful, you might accidentally buy healthcare coverage that doesn’t actually exist.

Other fraudsters are simply calling people and telling them they need to pay fees to have their Affordable Care Act healthcare benefits take effect. They may ask the victim to wire them money via Western Union or a prepaid card.

Some scammers will even tell their victims may go to jail if they don’t pay the fees. This is obviously completely bogus, and it’s a sad example of how scammers advantage of the widespread confusion and misinformation surrounding Obamacare.

 

Fake Navigators Scam

As part of the Affordable Healthcare Act, the government is sponsoring the training and certification of so-called “navigators” who will help consumers get their new healthcare set up. However, this program hasn’t started yet.

Some scammers are calling consumers, pretending to be navigators, and asking for service fees up front. Remember, the real navigators program hasn’t started yet operating yet — and when it does, it will be free to the public.

 

Know How to Protect Yourself

One reason these scammers are getting away with their dirty healthcare tricks is because many people don’t know much about the Affordable Care Act or what it really means.

By going online and educating yourself about the Affordable Care Act, you can spot the scams and protect yourself and your family. Check out HHS.gov/healthcare to learn about the Affordable Care Act, how it will affect your current health insurance or what it will mean if you don’t currently have insurance.

Meanwhile, click here watch our Scambook TV video for more information about Obamacare Health Scams.

Do you have any tips for dodging Obamacare scams? What do you think about the Affordable Healthcare Act? Let us know in the comments.

 

See Also

Top 5 Obamacare Scams You Need to Watch Out For
Are You at Risk? How to Protect Yourself from Health Scams
Watch Out for the New Medical Alert Phone Scam

About The Author

Sean Boulger is a freelance writer and storytelling enthusiast living in LA. He loves television, pop culture, minimalism, and two cats.

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2 Responses

  1. Cut and paste snippets about scams. - Page 4

    […] Re: Cut and paste snippets about scams. Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare Scams Sean Boulger July 12, 2013 Later this year, the Affordable Care Act (often known as Obamacare) is going to take effect. This is a significant change in American healthcare policy, and scammers have been taking advantage of the confusion to commit all kinds of fraud and identity theft. In fact, the FTC has found that healthcare fraud has been on the rise lately, and will likely continue to increase until October. Let’s talk about how to spot the scams and avoid any problems when you’re ready to make the switch over to Obamacare. The Obamacare Card Scam One of the most popular healthcare scams that’s been circulating as the October 1st Affordable Care Act deadline approaches is known as the “Obamacare card.” It’s a technique used by fraudsters to steal consumers’ credit card information and Social Security numbers. How does the Obamacare card scam work? Basically, victims get a phone call from someone claiming to represent the government. The caller informs them that they need this insurance card to be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, or they may say the Obamacare card provides extra discounts. They ask for private personal information so they can send you the card. But there’s no such thing as an Obamacare card — you’re just giving your info to scammers and identity thieves. A color photo of the White House. Obama care goes into effect in October, and the FTC expects the number of related scams to rise in the meantime. The Information Update Scam Another popular scam involves fraudsters posing as Medicare officials. These fake Medicare representatives call consumers and say they’re updating or verifying personal information. The consumers are told that they might face some sort of consequence if they don’t comply. The Sacramento Bee has more: “…impostors claiming to be from Medicare told consumers they needed to hand over their personal or financial information in order to continue eligibility because ‘change is on the horizon.’ But nothing in the Affordable Care Act threatens existing benefits or medicare Enrollees…” In other words, you shouldn’t be getting any Medicare calls because of the Affordable Care Act. If you have concerns about your Medicare benefits, don’t respond to a cold-caller. Instead, contact your Medicare representatives directly. Fake Coverage and Mandatory Payments Scams A color photo of someone holding a stethoscope up to a piggy bank. If someone calls you out of the blue to sell “Obamacare insurance,” they may be a scammer. Some of the most audacious scammers are even selling fake coverage. That’s right — if you’re not careful, you might accidentally buy healthcare coverage that doesn’t actually exist. Other fraudsters are simply calling people and telling them they need to pay fees to have their Affordable Care Act healthcare benefits take effect. They may ask the victim to wire them money via Western Union or a prepaid card. Some scammers will even tell their victims may go to jail if they don’t pay the fees. This is obviously completely bogus, and it’s a sad example of how scammers advantage of the widespread confusion and misinformation surrounding Obamacare. Fake Navigators Scam As part of the Affordable Healthcare Act, the government is sponsoring the training and certification of so-called “navigators” who will help consumers get their new healthcare set up. However, this program hasn’t started yet. Some scammers are calling consumers, pretending to be navigators, and asking for service fees up front. Remember, the real navigators program hasn’t started yet operating yet — and when it does, it will be free to the public. Know How to Protect Yourself One reason these scammers are getting away with their dirty healthcare tricks is because many people don’t know much about the Affordable Care Act or what it really means. By going online and educating yourself about the Affordable Care Act, you can spot the scams and protect yourself and your family. Check out HHS.gov/healthcare to learn about the Affordable Care Act, how it will affect your current health insurance or what it will mean if you don’t currently have insurance. Meanwhile, click here watch our Scambook TV video for more information about Obamacare Health Scams. Do you have any tips for dodging Obamacare scams? What do you think about the Affordable Healthcare Act? Let us know in the comments. – See more at: Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare Scams […]

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