LOS ANGELES — The national health reform law is expected to open the door for identity theft and insurance scams when millions of uninsured Americans begin enrolling in coverage this fall, officials and advocates warn.
The Federal Trade Commission said dozens of consumers have reported fraud since last summer’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the law, and officials predict widespread abuse when enrollment begins in October.
Under health care reform, millions of Americans who lack insurance will become eligible for Medicaid and subsidized coverage through state-based health exchanges.
Federal and state health officials are directing consumers to the official websites — www.healthcare.gov and www.coveredca.com. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is also warning consumers not to disclose private medical or financial information in response to unsolicited calls, emails or visits and to beware of offers that seem too good to be true.
Those especially at risk for fraud are seniors,
people who speak limited English and those who
have never had insurance before.
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a Washington-based nonprofit, has issued a national alert and has been working closely with the federal government and the media to get the word out, said spokesman James Quiggle.
— The Los Angeles Times