“With this changing health insurance landscape, there is a new opportunity for people to take advantage of our residents, and we’ve seen it starting already,” said Kate Abernathy, a spokeswoman at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance…
The most prevalent complaints involve older Americans. Under the law, people age 65 and over, who are on Medicare, do not need to buy supplemental coverage. Nonetheless, some marketers are pushing expensive add-on policies by falsely claiming that such coverage is required, state authorities say. Others are telling people that the law means they need new Medicare cards — not true. And still others are charging fees as high as $100 to “help” people navigate the new insurance landscape.
And then there are those who are creating websites that resemble state health care exchanges. Visitors to those websites, with addresses like NewHampshireHealthExchange.com, say they are inundated with pitches from private insurance agents unaffiliated with the government.
Authorities warn that in some cases the come-ons are merely a ruse to get people to divulge sensitive Medicare and banking information. The pitches usually come with a telephone call or knock at the door. Someone claiming to be a government official offers help or warns residents that their Medicare cards are about to expire. Then the hook is set.