Protecting Your Small Business from ObamaCare Scams
As if it isn’t enough that the Obama administration’s launching of the new federal website for health insurance has resulted in nationwide confusion regarding coverage, now, scammers and con artists are taking advantage of the chaos to try and steal your personal information and your money. While some level of fraud is predictable with any large scale government program, the technical difficulties with HealthCare.gov as well as the widespread lack of understanding of the law itself threaten to make matters worse.
According to Zane Benefits, many small business owners are still confused about ObamaCare. As a business owner, you need to be especially vigilant in order to protect your small or bad credit company from fraudsters and predators that seek to exploit health care portal confusion and rob you of your identity and your hard earned cash. Here are a few tips that can help you identify major red flags.
Beware scammers that contact you. According to Fraud.org, ObamaCare scammers claiming to be federal government employees contact would-be consumers via phone, fax, email, and even in person. Attempting to intimidate the listener, they use verbiage such as “it is the law” and “the government now requires it” to trick people into handing over their bank account routing numbers or making direct cash transfers in order to purchase “insurance cards.” Aside from the obvious – that you should never give this kind of confidential information to an unknown source – the president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Carrie A. Hurt, has released a statement saying that there simply is no Affordable Care card, and that this is just one of many scams surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
Avoid website scams. A multitude of official-looking websites that claim to provide information on ObamaCare have surfaced. Although many of these fraudulent websites have been shut down, it is expected that more will continue to pop up in the coming months. Be wary of any site claiming to represent the government that is not a .gov. In addition, you should perform a search in order to see if there are any scams associated with websites claiming to be government entities that you aren’t sure about. Double checking takes very little time and can quickly reveal the most obvious or prolific scams.
Knowledge is your best defense. Understanding how ObamaCare affects your small business is key to avoiding health care scammers. According to a report by McClatchy News Service, con artists have threatened consumers with jail time if they refused to purchase insurance cards. One who is informed about the laws surrounding ObamaCare would recall that while the law does call for financial penalties for those who do not obtain health insurance, there is no jail time penalty. Working together with a trusted and licensed health insurance broker is your best bet when attempting to navigate the new system.
To report ObamaCare fraud, call the Health Insurance Marketplace consumer call center at 1-800-318-2596.
Photo Credit to Steve Hankins on Flickr.