Alert
Close

Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Scam Alert

Beware of the Latest Health Law Cons

8 ways to protect yourself from crooks trying to cash in on the health insurance exchanges


Man crossing fingers behind his back, ACA Obama Care Scams (Getty Images)

A scammer’s goal is to gain information for identity theft by pitching phony health plan enrollments related to the Affordable Care Act. — Getty Images

En español |With the coming rollout of a major aspect of the Affordable Care Act, the time is ripe for another onslaught of scammers trying to grab your money, personal information and medical records.

Ever since the ACA — better known as Obamacare — was passed by Congress in 2010, there have been periodic waves of cons tied to health reform. These include the sale of bogus insurance policies, and phone calls demanding sensitive personal information ("Could you please verify your identity?") if you're to receive a nonexistent Obamacare card or new Medicare card.

Subscribe to the AARP Health Newsletter

But now experts are predicting a tsunami of schemes tied to the Oct. 1 launch of a program that will allow millions of uninsured Americans to shop for coverage through either state-run health insurance exchanges or the federal government.

Confusion over the Affordable Care Act will certainly help the con artists. Roughly half of people recently surveyed in a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll knew "nothing at all" about their state's plans to create an exchange, and two-thirds of uninsured Americans didn't understand how the new law affects them. About a fifth thought it had been repealed by Congress or overturned by the Supreme Court.

Already, scammers have established fake websites claiming to sell ACA insurance. Others have renewed tried-and-true government impostor scams — delivered via phone call, fax and email — in which they claim to represent Medicare or other government agencies, sometimes just saying they're "calling from Obamacare." The goal is to glean sensitive information for identity theft while pitching phony health plan enrollments.

And brace yourself for scamming Obamacare robocalls. Lois Greisman, an official with the Federal Trade Commission who oversees the national Do Not Call List, predicts they'll be a leading dinnertime annoyance in coming weeks — and possibly through 2014.

Don't fall for their ruse.

Next page: 8 ways to keep scammers at bay. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

HEALTH INSURANCE SMARTS: Find out what you need to know about shopping for health care in health insurance marketplaces, also known as health insurance exchanges.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

HEALTH INSURANCE NEWS

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% off eye exams and 30% off eyeglasses at Pearle Vision.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

AARP BOOKSTORE

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do

FEATURED GROUPS

Social Security

How to strengthen Social Security for future generations. Discuss

Medicare & Insurance

Share health coverage information and experiences common to being age 50+. Join

Health Nuts

Share heart-smart recipes, fitness tips and stress relievers. Join