Health insurance fraud spikes as exchanges go live

Health Insurance rate increases

Health insurance regulators are combating a tide of fraud

Health insurance exchanges throughout the U.S. have proven popular with consumers, but many people may be at risk of falling victim to fraud and misleading tactics by those that seek financial gain. The New Hampshire Insurance Department has sent a cease and desist letter to an insurance brokerage based in Arizona this week. The company is being accused of misleading New Hampshire residents into thinking that it represented the state’s health insurance exchange. The company’s website has since been taken down, but regulators suggest that many people may still be at risk of exploitation.

Regulators throughout the US issue warning to consumers

Regulators in Washington and Pennsylvania have encountered similar problems to those addressed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department. Numerous health insurance agents working in these states were attempting to convince consumers that they were officials associated with state-based health insurance exchanges. Connecticut regulators issued a warning to insurance agents over the summer in the hopes of deterring potential malicious activity, but this warning may not be heeded by those seeking to exploit the confusion of consumers.

Health Insurance fraud ratesMalicious parties seek to exploit consumer confusion

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has issued a warning to all consumers concerning malicious activity and fraud. The organization has advised people to be on the lookout for fraudulent websites that claim to be associated with any state-based health insurance exchange. Furthermore, exchanges will not reach out to consumers directly, so unsolicited calls or visits from those claiming to represent exchanges should not be trusted.

Fraud may prove to be a costly problem for many

Acquiring a health insurance policy from a malicious party may have serious financial repercussions, especially if someone is pursuing medical care. It should be noted that not all instances of fraud have to do with fake insurance policies. Some policies are quite real, but are only valid in certain states. These policies are, of course, typically sold outside of the state in which they are valid, making them useless to those purchasing them.

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