With health care reform comes scammers looking to capitalize on people who aren’t aware of how the new law works. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is designed to help under-insured people have access to quality and affordable care. To avoid being taken, here are some things you may want to know regarding health care reform:
1. The law does not require any immediate action.
Scammers may have you believe that you need to get health insurance immediately, and that they can offer you “limited-time” specials on health policies, special benefits, or advertised as required by the new law. This is not true. The requirement for all citizens to have health insurance does not take effect until 2014 for most individuals. However, if you are in the market for an individual plan, the policy must comply with the 2014 changes now. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org) suggests you call your state insurance department and confirm the legitimacy of the agent and what they are selling before signing anything and making any payments to them.
2. Be wary of limited benefit or high deductible health insurance offerings including Health Savings Accounts (HAS).
While limited benefit or high deductible health insurance are real and legitimate offerings from some insurance companies, they often have lower premiums and only cover specific injuries, expenses or conditions. The policies also often have a lot of other constraints that it is important to understand to be sure it’s right for you. A scammer may try to get you to buy a policy without fully explaining the ins and outs of it. Before purchasing one, check verify it now rather than later when you will have problems and possibly a load of medical bills (link below).
3. The new law does not have a limited enrollment period.
You should not feel pressured to purchase any policy. A fully-licensed agent should be educated about the new law, as should you so you won’t be at risk for being victimized by opportunistic individuals.
4. New policies must comply with the new law and will not be “grandfathered.”