How to Protect Yourself From Health Coverage Scams

How to Protect Yourself From Health Coverage Scams

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.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has given more people access to health care than ever before. But it also has given hackers, hustlers and other bad guys an opportunity to steal your private information—and your money—through health insurance scams.

Here’s how to protect yourself and your private information:

  1. 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.”
  2. Don’t believe anyone who says you must have an ACA health plan. The Affordable Care Act does say most people must have health insurance. But you don’t have to buy a new health insurance plan.  If you already have health insurance through your job or through a program like Medicare and Medicaid, you can keep it or look at other plans your insurer offers.
  3. Don’t give out private details to anyone who calls or comes to the door to talk about health plans. Insurance companies don’t go door-to-door or make sales calls. 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.
  4. 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 insurance carrier.

Don’t buy a health plan based on price alone. Buy from an insurance company you trust. Don’t take a chance on a company you’ve never heard of before. They may not exist. You could end up without health insurance and without the money you had set aside to pay for it.  It never hurts to search for reviews for the insurance company or salesperson.        

Visit our article library to learn more about health insurance scams.

Are you doing a good job of protecting your private information?  Have you been faced with a health care scam?  Log in to tell us your story and what you learned.

Original publish date: September  24, 2014

Anonymous