The nation's new health care reform law changes a lot about health insurance.
And scammers know it.
As consumers begin to navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace fraudsters are already coming up with ways to prey on those who are not familiar with the health care law.
"In some cases, criminals will try to collect personal or financial information. In other cases, unscrupulous salespeople will try to sell 'discount medical plans,'" warns the Iowa Attorney General's Office. "Those so-called discount plans may be insurance plans that really don't save you money, or they may not be legitimate health insurance plans at all."
Now through March 31, 2014, consumers can enroll for health insurance through the Marketplace, a federal government website that allows users to compare and select plans. Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone is required to have health insurance beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Dupaco Community Credit Union has partnered with CoOportunity Health – which began operations following approval by the federal government – to offer new, affordable member-focused health coverage options.
The partnership gives Dupaco members access to CoOportunity Health experts who can help individuals, families and businesses navigate the health care law and find a health insurance plan that makes sense for their health and budget. Dupaco members interested in discussing their health insurance options may call CoOportunity Health at 855-274-2383.
As you become informed about your health care choices, protect yourself from fraud by following these simple guidelines from the Iowa Attorney General's Office and https://www.HealthCare.gov:
- The government will not call or e-mail you to solicit enrollment plans. If a caller claims they are with the government verifying personal information for a new government health insurance or Medicare card, hang up. (Medicare isn’t part of the Marketplace, so you don't have to replace your Medicare coverage.)
- Guard your personal information. Don't give your Social Security number or credit card or banking information to companies you didn't contact or to unsolicited advertisements, even if they say they are from the Marketplace.
- No one should be asking for your personal health information, like your health history, any health conditions you have or medical treatments you've received. Don't give it to anyone.
- Ask questions if any information is unclear. And don’t sign anything you don't fully understand.
Read more on protecting yourself from fraud and how to report suspected fraud.
By Emily Kittle