insurance

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

Phantom health exchanges
Phantom health exchanges © StockLite/Shutterstock.com

Can't wait for the new state health exchanges to debut? Scam artists would love to hear from you.

"We've seen a couple of fake exchanges already online," says Quiggle. "They have the word 'exchange' slapped across their masthead and on their home pages. So, a lot of that skullduggery is already in motion."

In fact, such health insurance schemes are all the rage these days, according to Kay Lockhart, president of Nevada Independent Insurance Agents. The industry group, based in Carson City, Nev., partnered with its state to produce TV commercials alerting consumers to the threat.

"We did a campaign featuring a carnival barker, called 'Only $29.' The way we came up with that figure is, that was the average cost (for bogus coverage) from over 185 offers I collected in a two-year period," Lockhart says. "They use $29 because they figure that is about what a family could afford to spend for health insurance in a month."

AARP's Funk expects the fraud to escalate once the exchanges come online.

"There are going to be attempts to hack the personal information that applicants provide," she predicts.

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