Healthcare scams: What you need to know

Healthcare scams: What you need to know

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Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

It's been just over a week since enrollment opened for the new healthcare law, but scammers are already on the job, using the program in hopes of getting your money.

Obamacare is a very complicated matter and it's meant to address people who are really in need and looking for any help they can get. But there are folks out there preying on them and anyone who will listen.

David Smitherman, the president of the Better Business Bureau, says since enrollment opened up through the ACA, they have seen the number of scam calls go up.

Those scam calls include reports from folks in several Birmingham neighborhoods about people going door to door claiming to have free insurance.

The catch is they have to give their bank account number, Social Cecurity number, and other personal information that would allow for their identity to be stolen.

Smitherman says people need to realize neither the federal government nor an insurance company licensed to sell ACA products in Alabama are not going to come to your door or call you. You will have to reach out to them.

Smitherman says it's also important to know there is no special "Obamacard" that goes with Obamacare.

He says there are some folks being told they need a special card, so they give over their personal info and are being taken that way.

Smitherman says you've got to be smarter than that and don't fall for the trick.

"These are the people that really need the help and that's what happens so often with the scams we see. It's people most desperate and grasping at last straws that are taken in and they can afford to lose the least," Smitherman said.

Smitherman warns folks that the scams are coming now, but will likely hit hard once the deadline to enroll looms closer next year.

He says as people get close to the deadline, they'll begin to panic and that's really when scam artists will try to get you.

Smitherman advises people to get a firm grasp of how the program works and if you get a call or knock on the door offering free insurance, ignore it.

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