Affordable Care Act ripe for scams - WFLA News Channel 8

Affordable Care Act ripe for scams

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

After years of debate and controversy, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is officially underway. And this giant government program is a scam artists dream.

"Anytime a major government program is launched that is complicated," Geri Detweiler of Credit.com said. "It's confusing to people, it's an opportunity for scammers to mislead people and make them think that they're supposed to do something, or give out information, that they really shouldn't."

Open enrollment began Oct. 1. State exchange sites are now open for business. However, Florida does not have its own state exchange so the only exchange sunshine state residents need to worry about is the federal one.  It can be found at www.healthcare.gov.
Related story: 10/01/2013 Floridians get ready to sign up for health plans

Detweiler says phony insurance programs began to crop up not long after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010. "We've already seen that scammers are taking advantage of this new government program to rip people off." Now that the program is officially underway, Detweiler believes the number of ACA-related scams will explode.
"Be careful, some people have been threatened with jail time if they don't give out their information or pay for a new card that these scammers say are required under federal law and it's simply not true," Detweiler said.

If you're on Medicare already, you don't need to do anything, to change anything under the Affordable Care Act.

"The government is not going to call you," said Detweiler. "They're not going to ask you for your personal information. You do not need to get a new Medicare card. You do not need to get a new Obamacare card. If you get a call like that, you need to hang up."
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