Monday, April 12, 2010

Feds warn against scam artists pretending to offer coverage under health-reform bill

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is warning of scammers attempting to capitalize on the new health-reform law "by setting up 1-800 numbers and going door to door trying to sell fraudulent insurance policies." She's asking state insurance commissioners and attorneys general to investigate and prosecute.

From Sebelius' letter to state insurance commissioners:

Unfortunately, scam artists and criminals may be using the passage of these historic reforms as an opportunity to confuse and defraud the public...Some have attempted to make dishonest profits by urging consumers to obtain coverage in a non-existent “limited enrollment” period that they falsely claim was made possible by the new legislation.
She also noted that:

...There are new insurance options in the near future – a new high-risk pool program for those blocked out of insurance due to a pre-existing condition, for example, and new insurance protections that begin in September. But, in the meantime, consumers should beware policies that are time limited, offer limited benefits, or advertise themselves as necessitated by health insurance reform.

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