Recent changes to our nation's health insurance system have put some Americans at an increased risk of being scammed. Criminals target senior citizens and people new to shopping for health insurance to try to steal their personal health and financial information.
 
Follow these tips to protect yourself from fraud and avoid getting scammed. 

If you're employed

Not everyone is required to get new coverage. If you get health insurance through your employer, you do not need to take any further action. If someone contacts you and says you must pay for a new "Obamacare" ID card, it is a scam.

Medicare

No one who is currently on Medicare needs to sign up for a new insurance plan. If someone contacts you, claims to be from the government or Medicare and asks you to pay for a new "Obamacare" ID card, it is a scam.

Shopping for insurance

If you want to buy insurance directly from an insurance company, make sure the company is legitimate. If you are unsure about the company or an agent that you are dealing with, call your state health insurance department and confirm that the company or agent is legitimate and licensed in your state before giving them any information. 
 
If you think a health insurance scammer has stolen your financial information, contact your local police department and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

Protect your plan information

Protect your health plan information. Never give your personal information or health insurance number over the telephone or Internet, or to door-to-door solicitors.

Review your online claims

Review your health plan's online claims record frequently, even if you haven't been to the doctor lately, to be sure that claims aren't made for treatment you didn't receive.

Study your bills

Study your medical bills and explanation of benefits (EOB) statements just as you would your bank statement. Call the number on the bill or EOB if you have any questions.

Shred personal and financial paperwork

Shred medical bills and EOB statements before throwing them away, just as you would a credit card or bank statement.

Ask for a history of disclosures

Ask your health plan and your provider (for example, doctors, registered nurse practitioners, chiropractors, psychologists and other people you visit for health care) to give you an accounting or history of disclosures (a list of people who have reviewed your medical records). This will help you to identify anyone who looked at your records, see what has been disclosed and be sure that the record of your treatment is correct. Federal privacy law requires your provider to give you this information if you ask for it.