RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Health Insurance is a big concern for many of us and this is the time of year when we have to choose our benefits under open enrollment — and scammers know that. 

Right now, you no doubt are getting a lot of fliers and letters in the mail containing offers about insurance plans you can choose during open enrollment

Those are legitimate offers from legitimate companies, but scammers want a piece of that action— and they’ll be contacting you in a different way. 

“For these open enrollment types of scams, typically the main way we see scammers push these schemes is to contact you through emails, phone calls, and text messages, said Nick Hill of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina.  

Scammers will  impersonate real government officials and tell you they can help you navigate through the complex world of health care benefits like Healthcare.gov and Medicare

Scammers will  impersonate real government officials and tell you they can help you navigate through the complex world of health care benefits.

Healthcare.gov and Medicare. do not reach out to you first,” said Hill. “You have to talk to them before they reach out to you.” 

Many times these scammers want an upfront fee saying you need to pay them to help you figure out what kind of health-care plan you need. 

Real government officials can’t and won’t ask for cash to help you navigate your options. 

Not all scammers are looking to make a quick buck on you. Some want your personal information like Social Security and Medicare ID numbers.  

“Scams about healthcare and insurance are particularly risky because of the information involved,” said Hill. “Never give it out unless you are 100 per cent sure that you are speaking with actual representatives of actual providers.” 

The government’s official Medicare website offers 24 hour a day help by phone or chat which you can access here.

The official federal Healthcare.gov website also offers this service so you can find local help if you are struggling with decisions about health-care plans found in the open marketplace. That link allows you to find an agent, broker, or assister near you to talk in-person, over the phone, or by email.