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Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius issued a warning this week that Americans should be on the lookout for scam artists peddling bogus insurance plans. Since the signing of the health care bill, they seem to be popping up everywhere.

Some of the hustlers are going door to door claiming there’s a limited open-enrollment period to buy health insurance now. Not so. Moreover, even after new health insurance marketplaces open for business in 2014, door-to-door salespeople are unlikely to be part of the outreach. Scam artists have also set up toll-free lines.

"Unfortunately, scam artists and criminals may be using the passage of these historic reforms as an opportunity to confuse and defraud the public," Sebelius wrote state insurance commissioners and attorneys general. -AP

Sebelius has recommended to state governments that these health insurance scam artists should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

While the process of writing and passing the health care bill was complicated and confusing, Sebelius has promised that the reforms will be implemented in the real world clearly and carefully, so that everyone will understand what’s going on. People who call or come to your door trying to convince you that you must buy health insurance immediately because of the health care reform bill are probably trying to take advantage of you. For your protection, please don’t sign anything or give money or credit card numbers to anyone trying to sell you health insurance in a hurry. If you suspect fraud, contact your state insurance department right away.

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