Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, there is something that patients need to be aware of: Scammers will be trying new ways to get money and/or medical information from you.

An article on TheStreet.com warns us that fraudsters will be using the Affordable Care Act as a way to trick us into giving them access to our medical and banking information. Medical ID fraud is a real and dangerous thing. It’s just as important to protect your medical information as it is to guard your money and SSN. Why? If someone uses your medical ID to access healthcare it could mean inconsistencies and errors in your own health care. For instance, you could be given the wrong medication based on someone else’s medical history!

The Consumer Federation of America has given us some sound advice on navigating the new health insurance law so that we can avoid the scams.

  • Most people won’t have to make any changes at all. If you currently have health insurance, you don’t need to do a thing. The medical insurance exchanges are primarily for people who do not already have health insurance. If you are contacted and told you need to give sensitive information in order to enroll you in their health insurance system, ignore them and don’t give them any information.

  • You will not hear from the government. The US government is NOT selling insurance and you will not be contacted by them. If you get a phone call or email that appears to be from the government, it’s not. Don’t release your SSN or bank information.

  • It doesn’t cost a dime to enroll in a healthcare exchange. If you don’t currently have insurance and you are planning to use your state’s healthcare exchange, there is no fee. If a company contacts you and says you have to pay a fee in order to enroll in the exchange, it’s a scam.

If you are uninsured, or you simply are wondering if there is a cheaper option out there for you, go to https://www.healthcare.gov/. That is the official website to determine if you qualify for Federal assistance and to be directed to your state’s healthcare exchange.