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Senior alert: New law, new scam

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Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius is warning the insurance industry and consumers of new scams cropping up in the wake of the passage of the health care reform bill. Scams center on the creation of so-called insurance plans designed to cheat the unsuspecting.

Con artists have been selling bogus insurance policies door to door and using the language of the new law to lend their pitches credibility. Many policies are advertized as having “limited enrollment” periods or as being special policies created in response to the new law.

As a group, seniors have been particularly targeted. State insurance commissioners have been asked to alert consumers in their states that scammers are afoot. Aside from avoiding any sales pitch that urges a quick decision or claims an insurance product has been mandated by the new law, consumers should purchase insurance products only from licensed salespeople.