Many uninsured employers and consumers are confused about what they will be required to pay once the new healthcare law takes effect next year. Sadly, this confusion has created new opportunities for thieves masquerading as government officials offering to help lower the penalty that will result from not providing the minimum coverage required by the new law.
Bogus Healthcare Exchanges
Also, many scammers have begun setting up fake websites designed to look like the new healthcare exchanges which employers will use when selecting coverage. Several of these sites have already been shut down.
“Scams specifically targeting businesses are in the minority, “said Jim Quiggle, a spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud in a recent interview. Once the real exchanges launch on October 1, he expects the numbers to rise.
Consumers and Businesses Vulnerable Across the Country
In Maryland scammers have begun calling on residents posing as government officials who say they need to verify Medicare ID and Social Security numbers in accordance with the new law.
In New York and Florida, scam artists have been traveling door-to-door inquiring if individuals have insurance. Many who answer in the negative have been threatened with prison time if they don’t comply and sign up for coverage at that very moment.
Scams like these have been reported in 20 states across the nation.
Harrison, J.D. “Using Obamacare as bait, scam artists target consumers and business owners”. Washingtonpost.com. 9/10/2013.