Scammers are exploiting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a way to trick Americans into sharing their personal information. Consumers nationwide are reporting receiving scam calls claiming they must buy insurance cards now, or face a penalty. Other consumers report being contacted and offered assistance to help navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace, for a fee of course. Regardless of the approach or set-up, the goal is to get your bank account information or credit card number.
Do not give out your personal information to unknown inquirers. The people who offer legitimate help with the Health Insurance Marketplace – sometimes called Navigators or Assisters – are not allowed to charge you. In fact, you can’t pay them. What’s more, you don’t need to buy a special insurance card, or pay any penalties for not buying one, either. Never give your money or your information to anyone who contacts you.
Someone gets in touch, saying you need a new Medicare card because of “Obamacare.” They tell you that you’ll lose Medicare coverage if you don’t pay a fee for a new card or give them your Social Security number and bank account or credit card number.
- Not true. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t say you need a new Medicare card, or another health insurance card. Nor does the law say you’ll lose Medicare coverage. Don’t give your personal or financial information to anyone who contacts you. When in doubt, call 1-800-MEDICARE, before you give anyone your money or information.
Medical Discount Plans:
Someone contacts you, offering discounts on health services and products. They might say the discount plan will save you money and that it meets the minimum coverage required under “Obamacare” so you won’t have to pay a penalty or look at other plans.
- Medical discount plans are not health insurance. Sometimes, medical discount plans illegally pretend to be insurance. The only way to know is to ask specific questions and not pay until you read the terms. Most medical discount plans are a membership in a “club” that claims to offer reduced prices from certain doctors, certain pharmacies, and on some procedures. Many of these plans are scams that don’t deliver on the medical services promised. Others are attempts to get your personal or financial information, so the scammer can use it to commit identity fraud.
Someone claiming to be an insurance agent gets in touch to say you should “act now” to get your new health insurance. They may promise to get you a special deal or help you avoid a penalty. Or they might say they can help you avoid losing access to your current doctors under Medicare – unless you sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Not true. If you have Medicare, the open enrollment for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans stays the same, you should not have to do anything different because of the Affordable Care Act. While some insurance agents can help you with your application through the Health Insurance Marketplace, don’t give your personal information or pay any money to someone who contacts you. Contact your personal insurance agent or Medicare directly with any questions you may have.
“I'm from the Government":
Someone contacts you claiming they work for the government and they would like to speak to you regarding your health insurance but first they must verify your identity by obtaining personal information from you.
- No, they are not government employees. The government will not call you about your health insurance; and no one from the government will ask you to verify your Social Security number or bank information. Some government agencies might send you a letter (for example, Medicare and the IRS), but they will never ask you to wire them money or give out your credit card number. If someone calls, emails, or texts and says they’re from the government, it’s most likely a scam.
If you believe you have been victimized by a scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.