Health insurance reform spurs new wave of scams

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addresses health care fraud
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addresses health care fraud

Marketing scams have been around for years, and their latest version combines the hard-sell tactics of door-to-door solicitation with one of the major pocketbook issues of today: health insurance. This version is being peddled by pitchmen hoping to take advantage of the recently passed health care reform bill and the public confusion that surrounds it.

The bogus policies, designed to trigger a false sense of urgency, include claiming that consumers have only a limited amount of time to enroll and falsely stating that they will be left without affordable health care if they don't act now. Other plans purport to offer substantial discounts on health care and prescription drug costs. Some have even set up toll-free numbers, noted Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a letter to state insurance commissioners earlier this month.