Health Secretary Says Insurance Scams On the Rise

On Tuesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, wrote state officials urging them to take action against scam artists who are reportedly marketing fake insurance policies. These new scams, she said, are direct attempts to exploit the new law overhauling the health care system.

Scam Artists Take Advantage of Transition

While companies and governments transition from one health care system to another, scam artists and criminals are using this transitional phase to release new health insurance marketing ploys, hoping to lure in individuals unfamiliar with the new laws of health care.

Sebelius believes ifinsurance commissionersaren’t careful, these ploys could successfully confuse and defraud the public.

Scams to Watch Out For

In her letter, she warned insurance commissioners of scams to watch out for. But as a potential victim, it’s good for you to know what scams are being attempted as well. Here are just a few:

  • Toll-free numbers with offers for limited-time enrollments for government-subsidized health insurance
  • Door-to-door peddling of phony insurance policies
  • Fraudulent sales pitches directed specifically at senior individuals and groups

Sebelius explained that these scams are similar to those that occurred during H1N1 flu epidemic and should be avoided at all costs.

Changes Are On the Way

Despite the fact that scam artists are pushing their fake agendas, Sebelius assured governments that health insurance changes are on the way. For example, insurance exchanges that scam artists are peddling will indeed take effect, but not until 2014. But in the meantime, states can get federal aid to set up insurance pools for high-risk individuals to buy policies at a cheaper price on their own.

Because it may be difficult to know that you are being approached by a scam artist, it’s good to work with your local health officials to ensure that everything you designate your hard-earned money to is legit.