Besides the out-and-out scams, there are some ''gray areas" that also can be confusing.
- Insurance agents or insurance companies may launch a web site aiming to make health care reform understandable and suggest it's an official, state-run site. The operators may be licensed and legitimate, but it bears checking. And they should be clear, if you ask, that they are not the state Marketplace.
- Consumers might expect the web site for their state Marketplace to have a ".gov" ending, but not all of them do. To figure out if a web site you're on is your state's Marketplace or another, go to healthcare.gov and enter your state’s name. Healthcare.gov is the federal government’s official web site with information about health care reform.
More Scam-Proofing Tips
Experts offer these tips to scam-proof yourself:
- Check out any site or representative if you are unsure. A legitimate web site or representative will never be insulted if you say you want to check out their web site and organization.
- Check the privacy settings if you use social media. Thieves are good at pulling information off sites such as Facebook. They may look up where you went to college, then call claiming to represent your alumni association with a special deal on health insurance just for graduates.
- If you're confused, seek out more information. Health and Human Services has a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer questions at (800) 318-2596, and it offers online chats.