There are more and more con artists that rise to the surface as the economy gets worse, with well thought schemes that will just scam people of their hard earned money. It seems that recently they are doing this through fake health insurance plans.
The fact is that the health care reform is a two thousand page bill which is full of provisions that many people just don’t understand, especially when it comes to the changes they should expect. Many individuals have lost their job and thus their health insurance and this is the perfect opportunity for scammers to jump in with an array of cheap plans that are marketed so well, that it would be hard to dismiss them until you will actually get burned.
Some scams go as far as knocking to people’s doors and telling them that they know people are confused with the new changes, but they are there to help them understand them better. Out of the many schemes scammers like to play on people, the following are the most common:
Fake medical discount cards
People are convinced they should get discount programs which initially seem like they are full medical coverage, yet even though these cards promise discounts for medical procedures, tests, dental work, hospitalizations and doctor’s office visits, they don’t deliver any of those. The worst in the bunch though are the fake medical insurance plans. These plans will generally exacerbate people’s financial problems by frightening them in many ways.
First of all they will tell them that they think they’re covered, but in fact they are not. Scammers also frighten people by appealing to their credit score, telling them that if they cannot pay their bills on time, their credit score will be severely affected and they won’t be able to get any loans in the future.
Lastly, they will trump everything saying that they can become ineligible for legitimate insurance coverage. This is because insurers have a strict requirement for individuals who want to change plans and if you don’t have insurance for more than sixty three days, this will create a gap into the coverage. This gap can then be used by insurers to deny benefits.
Another great source of confusion are the discount cards and even if some of them are legitimate, many are not and it’s hard to tell the difference. Plenty of health insurance companies also convince people to buy their cards, yet the fact is that individuals will only get to receive discounts on certain services and only when going with specific providers.
How to avoid health insurance scams
These scammers are quite convincing and skillful and if you want to avoid them, you should first of all check the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud’s watch list of health insurance plans that you should avoid. Be wary even if you cannot find the company on the list.If you are thinking of doing any business with a company, do get its phone number and websites and then investigate it.Read the complete policy and fine print with someone you can trust or with a family member. If the company doesn’t give you a copy of the policy they are selling, don’t do any business with it.Never respond to plans offered through faxes from E-mails, door to door salespeople, telemarketers and strangers.
Following these tips you should easily avoid getting your hard earned money scammed. Stay vigilant and be cautious with such people at all times!
Melissa Davis is journalist and marketing specialist from Australia, she has been writing about finace, insurance, and other topics on blogs across the Internet. When she is not writing, she has a career in iSelect a growing insurance compare company that takes a lot of the guesswork out of selecting insurance and other related products.Personal Finance