States are promoting their insurance exchanges, but consumers could be at risk of exploitation
Many states in the U.S. are beginning to promote their health insurance exchange ahead of a new open enrollment period, but consumers are being warned that they could be taken advantage of by scams. The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about insurance scams that seek to prey on those that are shopping for policies through state-based exchange marketplaces. These exchanges will begin selling coverage in November, and those that are not careful about how they get coverage could become targets.
FTC notes that the number of fraudulent websites is growing
According to the federal agency, a growing number of fake insurance websites and non-profit groups are beginning to offer discounted insurance policies. These fraudulent sites are posing as official platforms for state insurance exchanges, with some even mimicking the official sites that these exchanges use. These sites are designed to collect personal information from consumers. The information that these sites aim to collect includes age, occupation, contact details, and medical records.
The Federal Trade Commission is advising consumers throughout the country to be very wary of what information they share on the Internet. When sites ask for this information, consumers should be aware that it could fall into the wrong hands and exploited for nefarious purposes. Insurance sites could look authentic, so discerning what sites are real and which are fake could be a challenge.
State agencies can confirm if an insurance policy is legitimate or not
In order to avoid exploitation, consumers are being advised to research any insurance company they may be dealing with. Entering a company’s names and searching for complaints that have been made against that company on a search engine could be a good way to find out if an insurer is fraudulent or reputable. A state Insurance Department can also confirm whether or not an insurance policy is legitimate or whether a particular insurance company is licensed to do business in a particular state.