Under the Affordable Care Act, many states expanded Medicaid eligibility so that the number of people covered by that low-income health insurance program surged. Then, in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic came along.
As a result, the U.S. Government required states to keep people enrolled in Medicaid so they didn’t lose their insurance. Now that the pandemic has ended, people eligible for Medicaid have to re-enroll in their state’s program or find new insurance if they are no longer eligible.
Where large-scale change and uncertainty exist, it’s a perfect environment for scammers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns there are several ways the bad guys are attempting to exploit this.
If you have been on Medicaid or are now eligible, here’s information that will protect you from growing Medicaid scams:
Here’s what to know
Medicaid won’t charge you to renew or enroll. Your state Medicaid agency may call, text, or send an email with information about enrolling in the program. However, the real Medicaid program won’t ask for money or personal information like your credit card or bank account number. Learn more about eligibility for Medicaid in your state at Medicaid.gov.
Visit HealthCare.gov to compare insurance plans, coverage, and prices. HealthCare.gov lets you compare prices on health insurance plans, check your eligibility for healthcare subsidies, and begin enrollment. HealthCare.gov will ask questions about your age and income. It will not ask for your credit card or bank account number. If someone does, it’s a scam.
Scammers will also try to sell you medical discount plans that are not major medical. Medical discount plans charge a monthly fee for supposed discounts on some medical services or products from a list of providers. They’re not a substitute for health insurance, though some plans do give actual discounts. But others just take your money for very little in return. If you’re considering one, find out if your doctor participates in the plan. Check what coverage it gives for major events. And be sure to get the plan’s details in writing before you sign up. If anyone pressures you to sign up quickly or insists you’ll miss out on a special deal, they’re running a scam.
The FTC is trying to get ahead of these scams by arming consumers with information. You can help by spreading the word. You can start by sharing this article!