Many Americans receive health insurance through a government entity or platform. This is true for younger individuals who may be looking to healthcare.gov or older individuals that rely on Medicare programs for their health benefits.
Scammers know this. They use the information to form clever and even threatening scam tactics to try and steal the personal information of countless individuals. Unfortunately, many are quite successful. This leads to a cost of $68 billion lost to scams each year.
As such, it is important to know the signs of a scammer before you interact with one. Not only will this save you from identity theft, the information can help you educate countless others. Keep reading for 8 red flags of health insurance scams.
1. You Are Asked Upfront For Money
A common tactic involves scammers pretending to be insurance agents. Commonly, they will say that they can get you a better plan rate or higher discount, but you will have to pay them first to render this service.
Simply put, government entities and insurance companies alike do not function this way. Never give your financial information or personal information to individuals like this.
2. They are Trying to Sell a Specific Plan
Similar to the point above, insurance agents and government entities alike don’t work this way. Agents and government aids do not have a preference to sell you one plan over the other, rather, they want to find the best plan for your needs.
If you find an individual pushing a hard sell on one specific type of plan, it’s a red flag that the caller is illegitimate.
3. They Can’t (or Won’t) Answer Simple Questions
When someone is hired as part of an insurance agency, they know all about the plans up for offer. This is how they help connect you with the plan that best fits your needs. When you are dealing with a caller who either can’t, or won’t, answer very simple questions about their policy offerings, the only policy they are offering is a scam.
4. They Say They Work With The Government
Whether it’s for healthcare or for your taxes, a federal government agency will never call you and never ask for your personal information such as your name, address, social security number, and bank information.
However, we understand that this particular scam makes many individuals nervous for risk of missing something important. In these cases, it’s best to hang up on the caller and contact the government body directly to verify the origin or purpose of the call.
5. They Claim You Need to Update Your Insurance Card
Healthcare reform is a big headliner anytime a new bill is circulating in congress. As such, when there is healthcare legislation happening, the uptick in scams starts happening fast. This is because a scammer will try to exploit your uncertainties by blaming reform on the need to collect your information.
Like in the point above, the government will never call and ask for your information. If you are worried however, you can always contact the government agency directly to verify the origins of the call.
6. The Offer is Too Good To Be True
Oftentimes scammers will offer you plans and discounts that are far too good to be true, especially when compared to the general average of plans from open enrollment. In cases like these, scammers may be offering you “insurance” that only amounts to a medical discount card at best, and an entirely fake plan at worst.
Depending on when you find out about the dupe, it may be too late to enroll in another plan.
7. You receive a Phishing Email
Phishing emails might be difficult to spot at first as they are made to look as legitimate as possible. However, even the best scammers can’t make a fake email look real.
Red flags to look out for include an email coming from an incorrect or unknown address, spontaneous requests for information, or links which direct you to financial forms. These warning signs usually indicate the email is a scam.
8. You are Being Threatened
Some scammers go the aggressive route and attempt to harass and threaten other individuals into divulging their credit card, banking, and personal information. Know that, like asking for personal information, you will never be threatened over the phone by a legitimate government entity.
Resources for Reporting
In the event that you suspect a scammer, there are several reporting agencies available to help keep yourself and others safe. The following is a list of agencies that allow you to report scams, fraud, and file formal complaints.
- Medicare Fraud
- State Insurance Fraud Bureau
- National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association
Working With Trusted Arizona Agents
One surefire way to avoid a scam isto work with an agency that boasts years of experience on the local and state-level.
A staple in Casa Grande Arizona, the Gebhardt Insurance Group offers a variety of coverage from a host of major insurance carriers with an experienced staff that can help you determine the right coverage for your business. Give us a call at 520-836-3244 to get a quote and make an appointment to take the final steps in insuring your business.