Shopping for health insurance coverage now that health reform has passed? Buyer beware of health insurance scams. That's the message from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which is alerting consumers that scammers and shady operators have been surfacing since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (PPACA). Some insurance regulators on the state level are reporting that they are receiving complaints about scam artists going door-to-door or setting up toll-free phone lines to sell bogus “ObamaCare” insurance policies.
Here are some NAIC red flags to alert you to potential fraud:
- Time-limited offers or policies with limited enrollment periods. Reputable health insurance concerns will not ask you to make a quick decision!
- A claim that the coverage is required by law. There are no coverage requirements until 2014.
- The salesperson doesn’t explain the coverages included in the policy or does not provide a full list of the coverages.
- The salesperson claims the coverage will be "grandfathered" or exempted from changes required by the health care reform law. The only policies that would be "grandfathered" are those which were in already in force before the law was signed.
Your state insurance authority is your most important resource to check insurance company and insurance agency licensing information. If you have any suspicious sales calls - either by phone or in person - trust your instincts and take the time to check things out.
If you suspect fraud or have a complaint, NAIC offers a resource to file a report.