Health Insurance Exchanges -
Beware of imposter websites, phishing, and smishing scams!
A Message from the CEO of the ITRC
The ITRC wants to assist consumers and small business in avoiding scams, fraud, and imposter websites when the open enrollment period for health insurance exchange websites goes live on October 1, 2013. It was our experience that research results and resources were confusing and inconsistent when we ourselves attempted to local legitimate insurance exchange websites.
In fact, when we used the search term “health insurance exchange official websites,” the various state websites populated the first screen but not the official federal site that provides comprehensive information. Because of this experience, we believe there is a potential for consumer harm. Imposter websites could be easily confused with the legitimate ones.
Each state had the ability to determine how to best meet the needs of its uninsured residents. This has resulted in 17 states opting to have individual exchange URLs with the remaining states all using www.healthcare.gov.
Because there are multiple websites, we originally wanted to help consumers by listing each state’s website on our interactive map. However, we don’t want to add to the confusion. We want to keep it simple. Instead of giving you the list of websites which you can find on www.healthcare.gov, we want to issue a warning: BEWARE OF IMPOSTER WEBSITES, PHISHING, AND SMISHING SCAMS.
If you need to locate the authentic insurance exchange URL for your state, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/individual
If you receive an email or text purporting to be from your exchange, from the federal government, or asking you for your personally identifying information, do not respond to the email or text. Instead go directly to www.healthcare.gov.
There will very likely be bugs in this process and if everyone floods the websites on the first day of enrollment they could be faced with overloaded servers timing out, or even crashing. Don’t start looking elsewhere to get the services you need, or you could fall victim to an imposter website that at best will be a real business using misleading advertising, and at worst a full on scam just trying to get you to part with your personally identifying information. Stick with www.healthcare.gov and the official state exchange websites it refers you to. Be patient and be safe.
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