Officials warn of Obamacare scams

State Insurance Director and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor has issued an alert warning consumers to be wary of telephone con artists leveraging the confusion surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to steal Ohioans’ personal information.

Scammers billing themselves as government representatives have contacted consumers across the state, asking for their names, addresses and Social Security numbers so they can help residents navigate the state health insurance marketplace established under the law and expected to go on-line next year, according to the alert.

“The Ohio Department of Insurance has been made aware of attempts to scam Ohioans by capitalizing on confusion around federal health care,” Taylor said. “No one from an official government program should be calling you requesting your personal information.”

The scams underscore widespread ignorance of the law — commonly referred to as Obamacare — reflected in a recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The survey of 1,204 adults conducted last month found 42 percent of respondents didn’t even know the law was intact. Another 12 percent believed the law had been repealed by Congress; 7 percent believed it had been overturned by the Supreme Court; and 23 percent said they didn’t know enough to say whether the health reform law had passed.

The law was passed by Congress in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in June last year.