Beware! Fraudsters Taking Advantage of Affordable Care Act Implementation
CFA Publishes New Tips to Avoid Getting Taken by Health Care Scammers
Washington D.C. (Sept. 26, 2013) – As the October 1 start date for consumers to enroll in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act approaches, the Consumer Federation of America has issued new tips for consumers about avoiding identity theft and other scams. “Whenever there is a new government program or benefit, fraudsters will look for ways to take advantage of it by tricking people into giving them money or personal information,” said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at Consumer Federation of America. “We want to make sure that consumers get the real facts about how the new law works, know how to find legitimate help if they need it, and avoid being misled by scammers.”
Even before enrollment started, crooks have been contacting people offering to help them sign up for the health insurance program or pretending to offer insurance plans. In some cases, these “plans” are worthless medical discount cards. “There’s no doubt that con artists will be using lots of different pitches to exploit the health care law,” said Grant. “Their creativity is boundless, so consumers need to be careful.”
The new tips explain that people who already have insurance do not need to sign up, get a new card or make any other changes, that there is no application fee or charge for assistance to enroll in an insurance plan through the new health care marketplaces, and that there is no rush for eligible consumers to act. The tips also tell consumers how to get information from reliable sources.
Consumer Federation provides more resources about identity theft on its www.IDTheftInfo.org website.
Susan Grant, CFA, 202-939-1003
CFA is a non-profit association of nearly 300 consumer groups that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.