The Coronavirus pandemic has not only had a dramatic health impact, but also an economic blow as many Americans are now unemployed — and uninsured. As a result, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has re-opened HealthCare.gov for a “Special Enrollment Period,” from February 15, 2021 – May 15, 2021. This Special Enrollment Period will give people who need health care coverage the chance to sign up. But it also gives scammers a new chance to call, email, send letters and texts, trying to get your money — and your personal and financial information.
Scammers know you have questions about the special enrollment, and they’re taking advantage of that to mislead you.
Here are some things to know to help keep your money and personal information safe, while getting the insurance coverage you need:
- No one from the government will call you about health insurance, or ask you to verify your Social Security number or financial information. People who do are scammers.
- People who offer legitimate help with the Health Insurance Marketplace — sometimes called Navigators or Assisters — are not allowed to charge you for their help. If someone asks you for payment, it’s a scam.
- People representing Affordable Care Act plans won’t contact you by phone, email, or in person unless you are already enrolled.
- If you’re planning to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, do it at HealthCare.gov. People who try to sign you up elsewhere just might be scamming you.
Suspect a scam? Let the FTC know at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Your reports give us the information we need to launch investigations, and put scammers out of business.
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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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