Polls continue to show that there is much about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health reform law that Americans still do not understand. The health law’s complexity and confusion over parts of the law make it an inviting target for fraud.
The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning people to watch out for potential health reform scams. The local Better Business Bureau warns people to watch out for phone calls citing health law changes and saying that they will have to personal or financial info to keep their current insurance coverage. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota does not call members and ask for personal or financial info over the phone. Consumers are encouraged not to give out personal or financial info over the phone or by e-mail.
Scammers may also attempt to scare people by calling and telling them they have to pay a fine for not having health insurance. The tax penalty for not having insurance doesn’t take effect until March 31, 2014 and will be handled by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which does not seek payment over the phone. The tax penalty for those without qualifying insurance coverage will be handled on 2014 income tax forms due on April 15, 2015.
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to avoid potential health reform scams:
- Do not give out any personal or financial info over the phone.
- Unlike the Social Security and Medicare government programs, the federal government is not issuing any cards related to health reform that Americans must have.
- Medicare cards will not be impacted by the health law. Seniors will not need to apply for a new card.
Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.