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Kelley M. Butler June 4, 2013 2 min read

Help your employees avoid HCR scam-artists

Help your employees avoid HCR scam-artists


As hard as you’re working to make employees less confused about health care reform, scam artists are just as actively taking advantage of consumer confusion about the law in attempts to commit identity theft and fraud.

The problem is such a large concern in Ohio that Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor issued a consumer alert after reports surfaced that telephone con artists are using the confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act to attempt to steal Ohioans’ personal information. The scammers are claiming to represent a health insurance exchange, Medicare, or a “government program,” and say they need to verify the person’s name, address, and Social Security number.

As most of us know, even two of those three pieces of information in the wrong hands can lead to identity theft, bank fraud or both—which is why Taylor is taking the issue so seriously.

“No one from an official government program should be calling you requesting your personal information,” Taylor said. “If you are contacted by a suspicious caller, do not provide your personal information, including your Medicare, Social Security and bank account numbers.”

If you think your employees aren’t looking to you for guidance on how to decipher health care reform messages and marketing, think again. A poll this spring from Aflac shows that three-quarters of employees are relying on their employer to educate them about health care reform. However, just 13% of employers say educating employees about health care reform is important to their organization.

Never mind that you’re legally obligated to communicate with your workforce about the Affordable Care Act; this news from Ohio is proof positive that strong and clear communication can also help save your employees from becoming victims.

Help fight fraud and make smarter, savvier employees by letting them know:

  • Health insurance exchange open enrollment does not begin until October 1. The marketing of plans offering coverage through the exchange has not begun.
  • Medicare or government program representatives do not make house calls or solicit by telephone.
  • Protect your personal information. Do not give out your Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers.

This information might seem obvious, but when you consider that 42% of Americans don’t know ACA is still the law of the land (according to the Kaiser Family Foundation), you can’t make blanket assumptions about employees’ awareness. Best to err on the side of caution, especially when so much is at stake.

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