We posted before about the potential for fraud as the exchanges were rolled out.  Unfortunately, fraudsters think differently than healthy citizens.

Reuters posted a story last week about California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, taking down 10 fake sites that tried to mimic Covered California in order to defraud citizens in need of health insurance, after a month-long investigation:

“These websites fraudulently imitated Covered
California in order to lure consumers away from plans that provide the
benefits of the Affordable Care Act,” Harris said in a statement….

“the websites used names meant to evoke the
state’s own insurance exchange, such as
“Californiahealthbenefitexchange.com,” Harris said….

“Consumers who used internet search programs such
as Google to find the Covered California site were presented with ads
for the fake sites instead, some of them using the exchange’s logo and
using its name.  But instead of directing users to the site of the
state’s insurance exchange, where they could purchase policies approved
under the new law and possibly qualify for a federal subsidy, the ads
took consumers to the websites of private insurance companies and
brokers….

“She said policies offered outside the exchanges
may not have the consumer protections required by the Affordable Care
Act and may not be eligible for subsidies….

“Harris’ spokesman, Nicholas Pacilio, said that
attorneys general from several states have been participating in regular
conference calls on the subject….

“In September, Better Business Bureaus nationwide
warned that fraudulent telemarketers were calling consumers pretending
to offer information about the Affordable Care Act in an effort to
obtain personal information for identity theft.”

Have you had experience with any of the fraudulent sites?

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