Valley consumers urged to be wary of Obamacare scams

September 27, 2013 3:10:27 PM PDT
Thousands of people across the Valley are expected to use the state-run exchange called Covered California to buy health insurance.

"With the amount of confusion that's out there about Obamacare a lot of people are going to look to profit from that confusion," said attorney Joshua Whiteside with Central California Legal Services.

Central California Legal Services are one of the local agencies authorized to help consumers get health care, and avoid being taken advantage of. Scammers are already using Obamacare for identity theft.

"The government is not going to be calling you. They are not going to be going to your door and asking for information. They are just not going to be doing that. So if anyone is showing up and gets your social security number or your medical history, or money, just know that is very likely a scam." Whiteside said.

The Better Business Bureau said scammers are calling people saying they need to register for an Obamacare Card and asking for all kinds of personal information.

"If you get such a call hang up right away do not engage these people in conversation. They are going to try to get from you your bank account number your social security number they are trying to get personal information. Do not give this to people over the phone," said Director for the Fresno Better Business Bureau, Blair Looney.

Whiteside said other calls may be aimed at confusing seniors on Medicare. "For Medicare subscribers there shouldn't be any changes to your plan. You don't need to sign up for a new plan. You don't need a new Medicare card. Those things are just not required," Whiteside said.

Everything you need to know about signing up for the Affordable Care Act is available online at http://coveredca.com Sigh ups start Tuesday, be wary of sites with similar names.

"Really you are only going to be looking at one website. Especially here in California and that's www.coveredca.com," Whiteside said.

If you don't have internet access you can call Covered California toll free number at 800-300-1506. Their Central California Legal Services is also authorized to help guide consumers through the process; you can contact them at 800-675-8001. And if you have questions about scams, you can also contact the Better Business Bureau at 800-675-8118.


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