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As anybody with a credit card or Social Security number knows: You have to guard those numbers like your grandmother guarded her pecan pie recipe. Only a very select few can be allowed to learn the secret.
It turns out you have to be equally careful about sharing your private health data. Sadly, this is a rule too many people are learning the hard way. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has given more people access to health care than ever before, also has given hackers, hustlers and other bad guys an opportunity to steal your private information—and your money—through health coverage scams .
Here’s how to protect yourself and your private information:
Don’t give anyone your Social Security, credit card, bank account and phone numbers to get an “ACA card.” There’s no such thing as an “ACA card.”
Don’t believe anyone who says you must have an ACA Health coverage plan. The Affordable Care Act does say most people must have health coverage. But you don’t have to buy a new health coverage plan unless you want to. If you already have health coverage through your job or through a program like Medicare and Medicaid, you can keep it until the insurer tells you otherwise.
Don’t give out your private info to anyone who calls or comes to the door to talk about health plans. Tell them to mail you something and then check it out before you add your private data to the form. Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to review the information as well.
Don’t believe people who say they are “government workers” checking your health information so they can “update” it. No such workers exist. If you need to change your information, call your coverage provider.
Don’t buy health coverage based on price alone. Buy from an coverage company you trust. Don’t take a chance on a company that may not exist. You could end up without health coverage and without the money you had set aside to pay for it. It never hurts to search for reviews for the coverage company or salesperson.
Are you doing a good job of protecting your private information?
Have you been faced with a health care scam?
Tell us your story and what you learned!
Most recent update: 1/24/2018
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