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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > August 2016 > Five Signs of a Health Insurance Scam

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Five Signs of a Health Insurance Scam

Con artists know how complicated health insurance can be and are eager to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. For example, while the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” has been around for a few years, many consumers still have questions about it, and scammers may try to take advantage of the uncertainty.

Some consumers have filed complaints about calls from people claiming a connection to the Affordable Care Act or the Health Insurance Marketplace. One consumer from Ashtabula County complained about unsolicited phone calls from “National Health Enrollment” asking him for his insurance information. A Clermont County consumer received a call on his cell phone supposedly from the “Obamacare Enrollment Center.” The caller told the consumer he needed to call back about his “registration,” provided him with an “enrollment number,” and wanted to discuss his enrollment and tax implications.
To protect yourself, watch for signs of a health insurance scam, including:
  1. Unexpected robocalls. If you get a prerecorded sales call, or “robocall,” it is probably illegal unless you have given written permission to get such a call. Some illegal robocalls are placed by scam artists hoping to get your money or personal information. Generally, the best way to handle such robocalls is to simply hang up. Do not push a button to speak to a live operator or to “opt-out” of receiving future calls. Pushing any buttons likely will result in more phone calls because it alerts callers that they have dialed a “live” telephone line.
  2. Requests for money. If someone unexpectedly calls you claiming to be from the Health Insurance Marketplace and threatening to charge you penalties for not being properly insured, do not provide personal information or pay money over the phone. Legitimate “Navigators” or trained “Assisters” of the Affordable Care Act should not charge you or try to sell you a specific plan.
  3. Copycat names. Scammers often use names that are similar (or identical) to legitimate organizations. If you receive an unexpected call, letter, or other message about health insurance, check it carefully before responding. Don’t assume the message is from a legitimate source just because it includes an official-looking name or logo. The government provides information about the Health Insurance Marketplace at; be cautious of lookalike names or websites.
  4. Requests to verify your personal information. Be skeptical if you receive a health insurance call claiming to be from the government and asking for information. Legitimate organizations generally do not make phone calls to verify your personal information, such as your Social Security number. If you receive communication that appears to be official, contact the government office at a phone number you know to be legitimate in order to help determine whether the communication is part of a scam.
  5. Claims you need a new Medicare card. If you are a senior on Medicare, you should not have to do anything new or different because of the Affordable Care Act. Do not trust someone who claims to be an insurance agent and tells you that you need that company’s policy or ID card to avoid a penalty or to keep access to your doctors. (Also, remember that your Social Security number is printed on your Medicare card, so think twice about carrying it around with you.)
To report a scam or unfair business practice, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by visiting  or calling 800-282-0515.