SACRAMENTO - Individuals are being advised to be cautious of scams preying on confusion surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, Covered California and Web MD have provided an array of information on what to be on the watch for in terms of fraud and scams.
Urgent Emails: Watch out for urgent emails letting you know that you could face prison time if you do not get health coverage immediately. Under the Affordable Care Act, most people do need health insurance, but the penalty is not jail. Next year it is one percent of your income or $95, whichever is greater.
Remember, even if the email looks legitimate, with state seals and other official emblems, do not give any personal information, do not reply to it, and do not click on any embedded links.
Phone or Door-to-Door Solicitors: Another scam has to do with solicitors on the phone or at your door. They will tell you that you are the first to get the Affordable Act Card and that they need your social security number and bank account number. That's all they need to drain your savings.
There is no such thing as an ACA card. If someone offers that to you or tells you that you need it, then they are trying to scam you. And don't trust the caller ID on your phone. There is a tactic known as 'spoofing' where the scammer is actually able to manipulate what your caller ID says when they call. So it may look like the call is coming from a legitimate organization.
False Help: Another thing to look out for is fake navigators and other helpers. Such people actually exist to help people with open enrollment, but there are also charlatans. If someone calls you saying he is from the local community center and is offering help, he could be a crook, and that person will likely ask for your personal information.
If you have any suspicion about whether a navigator is certified, check with California's department of insurance.
If you feel like you've been a target of fraud, contact Covered California at 1-800-300-1506.