With the healthcare reform law only days old, Medical Mutual of Ohio is urging its customers and the public to beware of scammers who may try to sell phony health insurance policies.
"They may try to tell you that, under the reform law, you will need to buy new health insurance," said Brien Shanahan, Medical Mutual's Director of Legal Affairs. "These pitches may come to you in the form of phony-emails, fraudulent online ads, door-to-door or by way of pushy telemarketers."
The scams may promise a variety of bogus benefits, said Shanahan. "They include fake coverage, where you end up making huge payments for a worthless piece of paper with totally worthless benefits," said Shanahan. "Some may even offer enticements such as 'medical discount' cards, which are also worthless."
By following a simple list of do's and don'ts, Shanahan said you can avoid becoming a victim of health reform fraud:
Do not buy insurance online or over the phone - always investigate.
Do not buy based on suspicious mailers, fliers or ads.
Do not respond to high-pressure or fear tactics.
Do not give out your membership or Social Security Numbers.
Do shop around and compare coverage.
Do verify the Company's license with the State.
Do get a list of providers on the plan.
Shanahan also said to be careful when switching health plans and read your policy carefully. "When in doubt, call the number on the back of your membership card and check with us before making any changes," he said.
Founded in 1934 Medical Mutual of Ohio is the oldest and largest health insurance company based in Ohio. For more than 75 years the company has served its customers through high- quality, affordable group and personal health insurance plans, and third-party administrative services to self-insured group customers. For more information, visit the company's award- winning Web site at www.MedMutual.com.