The Affordable Care Act: When Scams Follow the News

The Affordable Care Act is in the news lately. And one thing we’ve learned at the Federal Trade Commission is that scams often follow the news. Natural disaster? Charity scams will follow. Implementation of a major new law affecting millions of people? Scammers will be there.

To cut through some of the clutter in the environment with all the articles and discussion of the Act, here’s one key fact to hold onto that can help spot and avoid scams:

You can’t sign up yet.

Enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace doesn’t start until October 1, 2013. Anyone who claims to be able to sign you up sooner is trying to scam you. Please report them.

We’ve heard from consumers and from other federal agencies that scammers are trying to convince people to act now. Scammers always want to get your money before you have time to stop and think. So remember that date: October 1, 2013. That’s the first time anyone, anywhere can sign up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

And please: if you see someone trying to enroll people for health insurance under the Act before October 1, 2013, say something. We can only investigate the scams we know about, so every report helps us find and stop the bad guys. Thanks in advance!

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