Health care changes could spawn fraud attempts on Floridians - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Health care changes could spawn fraud attempts on Floridians

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Floridians especially seniors could become targets for fraudsters as the Affordable Care Act rolls out, government agencies and senior advocates say.

With insurance enrollment kicking off Oct. 1, AARP is warning members that scammers have already tried to take advantage of confusion over the new law, going door-to-door and making phone calls pretending to be someone official and soliciting victims' personal information.

That information could be used for identity theft and frauds including tax refund fraud, Medicare fraud and credit card fraud.

In the case of the Affordable Care Act and the new online insurance marketplace, spotting the fraud may actually be a little easier than in other scenarios, because the law prohibits insurance representatives from cold-calling to solicit business, said Jeff Johnson, senior state director with AARP.

With all the media attention surrounding the new law, also known as "Obamacare," Medicare recipients may also be confused about what they have to do to comply with the law. Medicare recipients do not have to sign up for insurance through the new marketplace, Johnson said. Medicare enrollment deadlines are handled separately.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater also sent out a recent warning about potential scams.

"Reports have already emerged of callers and other solicitors posing as government agency representatives and asking for personal information or contacting consumers saying that they have been selected as one of the first Americans to receive the new health insurance cards as part of the Affordable Care Act," Atwater said in the emailed message.

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