In an ironic twist, the White House is now joining health systems experts in warning that Americans who enroll in the ObamaCare insurance exchanges should expect that their personal, financial, and health information will be at risk and they could face fraud, identity theft, and even “cybersecurity threats.”
Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner reports that with less than two weeks until the opening of the ObamaCare exchanges on October 1st, the White House is admitting the security threat is so serious that the Obama administration met late Wednesday to launch a new anti-fraud bureaucracy that will be charged with handling consumer complaints and educating Americans about the possible ObamaCare fraud and scams.
“Today we are sending a clear message that we will not tolerate anyone seeking to defraud consumers in the Health Insurance Marketplace,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said after the meeting. “We have strong security safeguards in the marketplace to protect people’s personal information against fraud and we will work with our partners to aggressively prosecute bad actors, just as we have been doing in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”
Bedard writes about the White House’s sudden mention of the likelihood of Americans being at risk:
To show just how bad the administration expects the situation to be, consider what’s being put in place to fight Obamacare fraud: a call center will have trained staff to take consumer complaints; the Obamacare website will connect consumers with the FTC’s complaint center; a “rapid response mechanism” will be established to sniff out privacy and cybersecurity threats; and a new public education campaign will be established to help consumers avoid scams.
CMS, the HHS agency that runs ObamaCare, also produced a new publication entitled “Protect Yourself From Fraud In The Health Insurance Marketplace.” This resource informs Americans that when they sign up for health insurance in the new exchanges, or “marketplace,” they will need some tips “to protect yourself while getting you the coverage you need.”
CMS goes on to warn Americans that the new “Navigators,” “Assisters,” and “Certified Application Counselors” are there to help but that they should not be asking for your personal information, except your Social Security number, if they help you to enroll