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Beware of Health Care Reform Scams

Cameron Huddleston

The law doesn't require you to buy a new insurance policy right now.

Always quick to leverage current events to create scams, con artists now are using health care reform to take advantage of people. State insurance regulators have received complaints about scammers selling "Obamacare" insurance policies, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Scam artists are telling people that there is a limited open-enrollment period to buy health insurance as required by the new law. However, there is no open-enrollment period associated with the law, and there are no provisions that require people to make immediate changes to their health coverage, according to NAIC. Furthermore, the law's requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance doesn't go into effect until 2014.

Scammers also are telling people that the policy they're offering will be exempted from changes required by the health reform law. However, only policies purchased before March 23, 2010 (when Obama signed the law) are exempt.

If you get any calls from someone trying to sell you a health insurance policy, don't sign a contract or write a check until you check with your state insurance department to see if the agent or company is licensed. The NAIC has contact information for state insurance departments.

For more information about the new law, see our Health Care Reform: What It Means to You special report.

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