Health insurance regulators: Be alert for new scams

    The U.S. Secretary of Health says scam artists may be taking advantage of confusion over the new health reform law.

    The U.S. Secretary of Health says scam artists may be taking advantage of confusion over the new health reform law.

    In a letter to state insurance regulators, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said hucksters are using high-pressure tactics to sell phony health plans.

    Marshall McKnight is a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

    He says the high cost of health insurance makes consumers and small businesses owners desperate for affordable alternatives.

    McKnight: Unfortunately this creates a setting for scams in which criminals market various, low-cost fraudulent health plans often claiming that state insurance laws don’t apply.

    It will be four years before most Americans will be required to carry health insurance, but Sebelius says some insurance peddlers claim there’s a looming deadline to sign up for government-sponsored plans.

    Officials in New Jersey and Pennsylvania say they have not seen an uptick in complaints since the health bill passed, but both states are issuing new alerts to residents.

    Secretary Sebelius described reports of people selling bogus health plans door-to-door and through 1-800 numbers.

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