If you’re looking to enroll in health insurance, especially around open enrollment, you need to be aware of some of the most common health insurance scams! Scamming is a billion dollar industry and you don’t want to be their latest customer!
How to Spot and AVOID a Scam
No one should be calling you unsolicited asking for your private information. No one from the government should be calling asking for your private information, especially credit card information. Even if it’s a call back from healthcare.gov, they won’t ask you for payment information. This is your first red flag.
Now, sometimes we put in our information on a website and may get a call back that we’ve completely forgotten about- we’ve all done it. But before you give away any private information, make sure to do your research.
Google is your friend. Search online for the name of the company and read reviews.
Ask specific questions and expect specific answers. If you ask a question about your intended plan’s deductible, copay, premium, etc… you should be able to get a specific answer. If they are vague or evasive, proceed with caution.
Ask for a complete copy of the statement of benefits or policy of the plan you’re interested in. Honestly, you should do this anyway for your records.
If you’re leary, check with your state insurance commissioner to make sure the company is legit.
Some of the most common health insurance scams are:
- Medical Identity Theft
- Fake Discount Plans & Cards
- Marketing Scams
You’ll most likely be targeted with an unsolicited phone call OR someone claiming to be returning your phone call.
Medical Identity Theft:
This is a type of identity theft wherein the thief will gain access to your private information. They may pretend to be from the government and need you to verify your social security. They may claim to need your social security to see what plans are available. Neither of these statements are true. Always be wary of giving out your private information to an untrusted source. If you fall victim to one of these types of scams, you may be charged fraudulently or have a policy (that you didn’t approve) set up under your name.
Fake Discount Plans & Cards:
This one is tricky because it may or may not be a scam. There are medical discount cards available and if you purchase a legitimate one, it may provide savings. However, these discount cards are NOT insurance. They will not pay out your medical claims. If the voice on the other end of the phone is talking about “premiums” or “copays”, at the very least proceed with caution.
If you fall prey to a marketing scam, it can really cost you big! You may be contacted by a fake insurance agent calling to collect your monthly premium. The problem is, they’re not from the insurance company and your money doesn’t go towards your plan. This is a multi million dollar industry so this type of scam is more common than you may think.
How to Report a Scam
If you think that you’ve been a victim or intended victim of a scam, report it! Help prevent it from happening to someone else. You can report it to the FTC or to healthcare.gov by dialing 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).
If you’d like our assistance, you can reach us at iHealthBrokers at 888-918-0518 or schedule a call today! Our services are 100% FREE!
Jesse Smedley is the Principal Broker for iHealthBrokers and the founder, president, and CEO of Smedley Insurance Group, Inc. and iHealthBrokers.com. Since the inception of SIG in 2007, Jesse has been dedicated to helping people save money on their health insurance by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their health insurance options, both under age 65 and Medicare beneficiaries. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for expert columns regarding health insurance and Medicare.