The federal government's Health Insurance Marketplace just opened for business yesterday, with quite a few snags. But it's all the confusion around the Affordable Care Act that scammers are counting on.
If you need health insurance, go to HealthCare.gov. It is the only government site for questions on Affordable Care and the only way to sign up. But look-alike sites are bound to confuse consumers.
"Wherever you have confusion, that's ripe for a rip-off. And scammers jump on that sort of thing," Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.
If it's not online or through email, someone may go "phishing" for your personal information over the phone, saying it's the government calling to sign you up for health insurance.
"They are not going to call you. They don't know who you are. It's not on some public record somewhere that you have insurance or you don't have insurance," Schmidt said.
And watch out for unfamiliar names and high-pressure health insurance sales tactics. Open enrollment runs until March 31 and premium rates are good for that entire time.
"In our marketplace, we know who the players are. They're out there, there names are known. It needs to be somebody from one of those organizations. That's who is offering the exchange and be in the marketplace," Schmidt said.
And you don't have to get a new Obamacare, or Medicare card. There is no such thing as an Obamacare card and you're not required to get a new insurance or Medicare card. If anyone threatens you could go to jail for not having health insurance, that's not true. There is a fine, but no one will send you to jail.