Almost as quickly as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act, BBB received inquiries asking about questionable phone calls.
The callers claim they are from the government and that they need to verify particular information in accordance to the Act. They ask for personal and financial information. In one instance, the caller even asked for a credit card claiming it would help the residents receive coverage under the healthcare law.
“They might have the routing number from your bank, and then use that information to get you to reveal the entire account number,” an alert from the Federal Trade Commission states
. “Or, they’ll ask for your credit card or Social Security number, Medicare ID, or other personal information.”
The court ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s
requirement that certain people pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. It also substantially limited the law’s expansion of Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides health care to poor and disabled people. The health care bill
is the biggest change to American health care in decades was passed in March 2010. It was challenged by state governments, and passed to the Justices. The
BBB warns that the real targets are those who are uninsured or under-insured because of the penalties involved in the Act. The penalty or “tax,” as defined by the Justices, means most Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay $695, or 2.5% of household income, beginning in 2016.
Phone calls, letters and emails may include official-sounding names, headlines of incredible savings or penalty, and emphasize in bold the deadlines.
All that needs to be said is be skeptical. Don’t give out personal information to persons you do not know, trust or have done business with.
Optional services will be available as the federal and state governments carry out the task of providing healthcare coverage.
In the meantime, be wary of phone calls about the coverage or changes. And remember; if someone asks for personal or financial information through a phone call or an email, don’t give it out. Even when they try to persuade you it’s only for verification.