In this week of the launch of healthcare exchanges we turn to a regular go to for our Blog to publicize the most timely identity theft protection information is the The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). In a recent article, the President & CEO Eva Velasquez voiced concerns regarding the potential for new scams concerning the implementation of the Health Insurance Exchange (HIE) websites as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
These exchanges are currently online with enrollment due to start on October 1st.
According to the Act, each state must implement insurance exchanges. These exchanges are to serve as online marketplaces (websites) for consumers to compare rates and make choices about which health insurance coverage is best for them. Each state has the ability to determine the best way to manage these exchanges in order to meet the needs of their uninsured residents.
The open enrollment period for these exchanges begins on October 1, 2013. There is huge potential for misinformation and misunderstanding with this new insurance exchange program. Consumers will now be mandated (or face a penalty come tax time) to purchase health insurance if they don’t have existing coverage. The official website, www.healthcare.gov will be used by the majority of the states. Use this URL as your starting point—this is the site dedicated by the government and will be the safest gateway to the marketplace.
Scams and fake websites will no doubt try to trick consumers into thinking that it is either the federal health exchange website or one of the alternative state websites. Without known and reliable sources, there exists a great opportunity for gaming of the Internet search engines to attract consumers to websites intent on harming them by eliciting the fraudulent collection of personal identifying information (PII). There is a need to present factual information about which websites represent the accredited websites for the new insurance exchanges.
As always, be mindful of whom you are sharing confidential information with.
For more on identity theft best practices visit www.hvshred.com