Obamacare Confusion Leaves Door Open to Scams

Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013 11:55 AM

By Courtney Coren

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Scam artists across the country are apparently taking advantage of the massive changes and confusion brought on by the new healthcare reform law to lure unsuspecting people into buying insurance plans that don't exist.

According to Kaiser Health news, the federal government reported a 12 percent increase in “impostor scams” in 2012, with almost 83,000 complaints filed. While health insurance scams are often aimed at seniors, now that Obamacare is the law of the land everyone seems to be a target.

“America’s rife with health scams,” said James Quiggle, communication director at the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud in Washington. “Crooks are offering fake health coverage, stripped down policies masquerading as real coverage. They’re also selling . . . fake Obamacare coverage.”

Editor's Note: Video Exposes Dangers of Obamacare Law

The success of some of the scammers is hardly surprising, since a poll published in March by the Kaiser Health Foundation found that 57 percent of Americans have no idea how Obamacare will affect them.

Lois Greisman of the Federal Trade Commission says that scammers are often looking to take advantage of people in vulnerable situations. He added that the FTC is working hard to take them down.

In the meantime, he advises: “The first line of defense is don’t take a call from out of the blue from anyone who’s offering to help you navigate the new healthcare market. Those kind of cold calls just shouldn’t take place. Same thing with an unsolicited email, an unsolicited text.”

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