New York State
James J. Wrynn Superintendent of Insurance 25 Beaver Street New York, N.Y. 10004
|ISSUED 4/14/2010||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
Fake health insurance policies – peddled by scammers hoping to take advantage of public confusion over health care – are on the increase, the New York State Insurance Department warned today.
“There have been reports around the country about people being victimized into buying worthless insurance policies in the wake of the health care debate. We have seen a number of reports like this in New York and we are looking into these cases. We want to make sure New Yorkers recognize the telltale signs of insurance fraud so they are not victimized,” Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn said.
The Federal Health and Human Services Department last week noted an increase in health care-related crime and urged states to pursue aggressive countermeasures. The bogus policies being marketed include those claiming that consumers have “only a limited open enrollment period” and falsely state that consumers will be left without affordable health care if they don’t buy now. Other plans purport to offer substantial discounts on health care and prescription drug costs.
The Insurance Department urged consumers to keep in mind these red flags to recognize health insurance fraud:
The Insurance Department urges consumers to use these common-sense guidelines whenever purchasing insurance:
Consumers with questions or who suspect health insurance fraud are urged to contact the Insurance Department’s Consumer Services Bureau from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday toll-free at 800-342-3736. Consumer complaints may be filed using the Department’s website, www.ins.state.ny.us.