Medical identity theft and healthcare scams have been around a long time, and unfortunately they can lead to an impact on your credit score, financial well-being and even your health. The newest -scams surrounding the Affordable Care Act are particularly insidious. Scammers are playing on both the optimism of people who hope to protect their families with affordable health insurance, and the confusion thats developed around how to obtain that insurance.
Using a range of ploys, identity thieves can steal or cheat you out of your personal information. Once they have it, they can use it to open new lines of credit. This type of fraud can cause a drop in your credit score.
Protect yourself from new healthcare fraud scams with these steps:
- Never give out your personal information over the phone to anyone claiming to be from the government or an insurance company. Contact should always occur through the U.S. Postal Service.
- Thats not to say every official piece of mail claiming to be from the government is not legitimate. Evaluate such mailings carefully and use common sense. For example, if a contact is actually from a government agency, they wont need to ask for your Social Security or Medicare numbers; they will already have it.
- Dont buy insurance from a company that solicits you through phone or email, and dont deal with people who come door-to-door claiming to sell insurance.
- Remember, the only official website for Affordable Care Act information and buying decisions is www.healthcare.gov. Other sites may be bogus ones set up to scam you out of personal information.
- If you are on Medicare, you shouldn’t need to buy supplemental coverage. Be wary of anyone who tells you that you do, or tries to tell you that you must provide personal information in order to obtain a new Medicare card. Under the act, you can keep your current Medicare card.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. © 2014 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.