Steer clear of health insurance scams

How to spot and stop health insurance scams
How to spot and stop health insurance scams © manaemedia/

Medical and health insurance scams are rampant. Both government and private initiatives have renewed their focus on preventing health insurance fraud and abuse. Michael Williams, director of communications and membership of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, says new and better technology, improved awareness, and more widely available information combine to combat fraud. Williams adds that while the majority of physicians run honest practices, consumers must also step up to the plate to prevent fraud.

"Pay attention, do your research, read your EOBs (explanations of benefits) and beware of free offers," he says.

Read on to discover some of the most common health insurance scams making the rounds and ways experts like Williams say you can guard against becoming another victim.

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Have you been offered health insurance with affordable premiums, no medical exams and guaranteed acceptance? You might be a victim of health insurance fraud.

Health insurance scams are rampant, and bogus insurance policies are just one type of scam perpetrated on an unsuspecting public. Now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unfolding, beware of hucksters who tell you you're going to get a national health card. They then ask you for your Social Security number and bank account numbers. These guys are trying to steal your identity.

Another type of health insurance fraud concerns Medicare and Medicaid. If your doctor orders tests that your condition doesn't warrant or falsifies the treatment you received, they'll get extra money, and this might come back to haunt you when you really do need treatment and the service is denied. Always read your explanation of benefits to make sure there aren't any errors. And if you spot something amiss, contact Medicare or Medicaid.



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