Scammers LOVE this type of situation:
1) A brand new federal program that affects everyone and is so confusing that even people with Masters degrees are unlikely to understand the complexities of it.
2) People are scared, anxious, uninformed, misinformed, and don’t know where to turn to get accurate information.
3) It comes complete with an IRS penalty on anyone who does not comply with the new law, predictably adding to people’s fears and confusion.
4) A constant daily bickering between politicians both local and national which is covered in all forms of media (print, TV, Radio, Internet) keeps this new program in the news night and day.
What are we talking about that is such a scammers delight?
ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act is this scammer’ dream come true. Expanded Medicaid which is part of the ACA is also something that has people confused as it varies state by state. The fact is that dishonest people who are willing to lie, mislead, and steal in order to make money off a scam are now absolutely salivating at the possibilities.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information Over The Phone
If someone calls you on the phone and wants to talk to you about “ObamaCare”, you should politely hand up. That is the safest way to make sure you aren’t being scammed. You see, legitimate state health care insurance exchange navigators won’t be cold calling you. They have enough to do just answering the phones. So chances are that if you get a phone call from someone wanting to talk to you about health insurance, they are not a legitimate source of information.
The caller may try to sell you a health plan, scare you into thinking you need to buy insurance right away, tell you that ObamaCare is free, or a whole host of other things they will make up to appear like they want to help you. However, if someone is calling you out of the blue, the chances are that they are a dishonest scammer trying to fool you. They know that health care is terribly confusing and that people don’t understand what their options are, especially right now in these early days of the Affordable Care Act and health insurance exchanges.
These scammers may be just outright thieves hoping to get your Social Security number and other personal information or they might be sales people trying to sell you health insurance so they can get a commission. Either way, it is a scam you need to make sure you don’t fall for.
Don’t Buy Health Insurance From Someone Who Knocks On Your Door
Its the same for anyone who knocks on your door and starts asking questions about your health insurance situation: they won’t be legitimate and you shouldn’t talk to anyone like that. Don’t give them personal information and try to get rid of them as politely and as quickly as you can. There is no door to door outreach associated with ObamaCare or any state insurance exchange.
Update: there have been reports of volunteers going door to door trying to inform people about the upcoming implementation of the ACA. These volunteers are NOT selling anything or asking for personal information. They are trying to make people aware that health care options in America are changing and encouraging people to go online and get help from a navigator.
If you need health insurance and are hoping to get it through the new Affordable Care Act, you need to start by going online to legitimate websites. CoverUSA.org has links for each state that will take you to the federal health insurance marketplace or to each state health insurance exchange. A rule of thumb is that the government websites will all end in “.gov” so make sure you pay attention to the URL of the sites you visit.
Yes, ObamaCare and expanded Medicaid are a mess right now and they noise is only going to grow in the coming months. You will hear a variety of information and opinions from just about every where you turn so the best thing to do is to keep calm and make sure you get your information from official sources.