insurance

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

Medicare schemes
Medicare schemes © photastic/Shutterstock.com

Seniors on Medicare have long been in the crosshairs of con artists. Although the Affordable Care Act makes few changes to federal health care for seniors, scam artists still find ways to play off Obamacare to trick them.

"Their latest scam is, 'You've got to have a new Medicare card because of the changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act,'" says Funk. "This is totally untrue; there is no need for a new Medicare card."

She explains that the goal is to trick people into revealing their Medicare numbers, which are identical to their Social Security numbers -- which, of course, are key pieces of information for committing identity theft.

Con artists have even used recent natural disasters to trick seniors into divulging their Medicare numbers. "The spinoff that's been targeting seniors after Superstorm Sandy is 'your new waterproof-laminated Medicare card,'" Funk adds.

AARP already is warning members to ignore the new flood of scams it expects when state insurance exchanges open in October.

"Our main effort is to reassure those on Medicare that they don't have to pay any attention to the sound and fury around the exchanges," Funk says. "Their Medicare is safe and sound."

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