Since the ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (PPACA), people have already started reaching out to consumers with the intention of stealing their personal information. People are calling and claiming to be with government agencies or health care insurers, and then requesting personal information such as social security numbers, bank account information, and credit card numbers.
Consumers should be aware of the following:
Unsolicited phone calls from parties identifying themselves as being with a government agency or a health care insurer. Some callers may already know your bank’s routing number. This is an attempt on their behalf to get you to divulge your account number. Questions and inquiries regarding credit card and Social Security numbers, Medicare IDs, and other personal information are all indicators that you are talking to con artists.
PPACA requires that all Americans above a certain income level purchase health insurance or face a penalty tax, but this requirement will not go into effect until 2014. If the salesperson or “agent” suggests that it is necessary to immediately purchase health insurance, this is a red flag. There is no open enrollment period currently associated with the new health care law. If the salesperson is pressuring you to buy the policy because the price or option is only good for a short time, be wary.
Before you write a check or sign a contract for one of these policies, call your state’s Department of Insurance to make sure the insurance company and agent are licensed, and carefully read the contract, to make sure you understand the coverage and limitations of the policy.
Do not give out personal or financial information in response to unsolicited phone calls, emails or knocks on your door. Disclosing this information can put you at high risk for identity theft, credit card fraud, fraudulent checks, and unauthorized loans and credit cards in your name. Before signing a document or making a payment, get more info on PPACA by visiting the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website and learn more by visiting the Tri-State BBB.