Scammers Selling Fraudulent Insurance

Sebelius alerts commissioners, attorneys general
Scammers Selling Fraudulent Insurance
Scam artists are capitalizing on healthcare reform to sell fraudulent insurance policies, warns Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sebelius wrote letters to state insurance commissioners and attorneys general April 6 warning them to be on the lookout for the scams.

False claims

"Media accounts indicate that fraudsters have gone door-to-door selling phony insurance policies," she says in the letters. "Some have attempted to make dishonest profits by urging consumers to obtain coverage in a non-existent 'limited enrollment' period that they falsely claim was made possible by the new legislation."

She asks commissioners to "issue bulletins in your state to consumers and industry officials that alert individuals to these potential scams. These bulletins should clarify that there are new insurance options in the near future...But, in the meantime, consumers should beware of policies that are time-limited, offer limited benefits or advertise themselves as necessitated by health insurance reforms."

Sebelius asks attorneys general to "vigorously monitor and prosecute any individuals who attempt to operate or profit from dishonest scams that take advantage of the new law."

Fraud prevention team

In the letters, the HHS secretary notes that the department's Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Teams "will vigorously monitor and crack down on new forms of fraud and abuse."

In an April 6 speech at the National Press Club, the HHS secretary said of the attempts to sell fraudulent insurance: "This kind of criminal activity, which preys on the Americans who are most vulnerable in our health care system, is outrageous."

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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