'Obama-snares': 4 bad health care reform scams

4 bad health care reform scams
4 bad health care reform scams © Andy Dean Photography/

Would you fork over your bank account number to a caller who claims to be a federal employee peddling a new mandatory national care health card? Or buy a health plan through a sketchy online health insurance exchange months before the real ones open? Or fall for "death panel" insurance?

There's an army of con artists and opportunists out there hoping to convert your confusion over President Barack Obama's landmark health care reform law, casually known as Obamacare, into ready cash by any means possible.

"Confusion is a con artist's best friend," says Jim Quiggle, spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, an alliance of consumer groups, insurers and government agencies. "Obamacare scams appear to be a spreading problem in many states around the country."

Quiggle says con artists have been leveraging consumers' befuddlement over the Affordable Care Act to commit identity theft and sell bogus policies from the minute the president signed the law.

Don't be a victim. Here are four common Obamacare scams and ways to avoid them.

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Cornerstones of President Barack Obama's historic health insurance overhaul -- nicknamed "Obamacare" -- are not yet in place, and already scam artists and opportunists are pouncing. Don't fall for an Obama-snare.

The AARP reports that fraudsters are calling and showing up on doorsteps to sign people up for a new federal health insurance card under health care reform. But there is no such thing -- it's just a ploy to get you to give up personal information, such as your bank account number.

In similar fashion, Medicare beneficiaries are being told they must get a new Medicare card, but that's merely a scheme to dupe victims into divulging their Medicare number, which is the same as your Social Security number. There are even scams to protect you from those bogus health care reform "death panels."

Consumer advocates say beware of unsolicited Obamacare-related pitches using hard-sell tactics.



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