Five Ways to Protect Yourself Against Insurance Fraud
Credit card scams, identity theft and … insurance fraud? Yes, it happens. This is of particular concern for seniors, or those who might not regularly use a computer. The North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (which administers the plan), are reporting that some of their members are receiving phone calls from scammers.
But you don’t have to be caught off guard. You can protect yourself against insurance fraud, and we can show you how.
Beware of “Phishing” Scams
Phishing emails are designed to look like they’re from a legitimate source. In reality, they’re scams intended to get you to volunteer personal or account information such as passwords and credit card numbers.
At Blue Cross NC we stay on top of potential scams that might involve your health plan or your protected health information.
One such possible scam involves phone calls from callers stating that they’re with a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan. Most recently we’ve heard about calls originating from phone numbers in Miami, Florida, New Jersey, and Markham, Ontario in Canada. While it’s not quite the same as a phishing email, the intent is the same – to get you to volunteer sensitive information.
If you get similar calls asking for personal information, simply hang up.
Remember, legitimate calls from Blue Cross NC will clearly identify the caller and will not ask for your Social Security number. A legitimate caller should not make demands of you or threaten you if you don’t comply. If you are unsure whether you are speaking with Blue Cross NC, please hang up and dial the number on the back of your insurance card.
If someone you don’t know contacts you about getting health insurance and asks you to pay – or asks for your personal financial or health information – it could be a scam. Verify it’s the company you applied for and call them back from an official number listed on their website.
The Affordable Care Act does not require you to get a new ID card. If someone contacts you and claims to be from the government or Medicare asking you to pay for a new “Obamacare” insurance card, it is a scam. Don’t share any personal information with them and contact your local police department.
Protect yourself from medical identity theft by keeping your insurance card safe. Treat it like a credit card or a driver’s license and never lend it to others. If your information is ever lost or stolen, immediately report it to the police and your health insurance company.
Fake Insurance Websites
Be aware of fake websites claiming to sell health insurance. Don’t buy insurance without confirming first that the website or company is legitimate. If something sounds fishy, stop and verify the facts with a trusted source.
If you have a question or suspect fraud contact us immediately.
Inforgraphic credit: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association