Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act for 2015, which began Nov. 15, has spawned some new scams just in time for the holidays. Scammers are contacting unsuspecting consumers in an attempt to sell bogus insurance plans covered under the ACA. Healthcare.gov is the safe place for consumers to obtain information and consult with one of the agency’s free official helpers.
Some Medicare recipients have reported receiving calls informing them that their coverage will be lost unless they sign up for their prescription drug plan; the Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary (Part D). The call is bogus. Other recipients have been asked to provide their Medicare number in order to continue coverage, another scam. Never give out personal information over the telephone. Contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (633-2273) or go to www.medicare.gov.
Medical discount plans marketed by a number of scammers under the guise of being health insurance plans have some consumers confused. Many purport to be comprehensive health plans but fail to deliver the services promised; others are just a way for identity thieves to obtain your personal information. Contact the State Insurance Commissioner’s office at www.naic.org to verify the legitimacy of any health insurance plan that appears to be suspicious.
Victims of these scams (and any other type of scam) should contact the FTC at www.ftc.gov. Medicare fraud should be reported to www.medicare.gov.