Beware of Health Insurance Fraud in the Marketplace

Consumer Alert

Most people assisting consumers with health insurance are operating in good faith and in the best interest of their clients. Unfortunately, there have been reports of bad actors misrepresenting the requirements for individuals to qualify for free health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Homeless consumers with little to no income are approached and asked to provide their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as part of the insurance application process. Often, a small incentive is offered for signing up (e.g., $5, or a cup of coffee). Incorrect information, such as income and contact details, are entered into the system by the bad actor, thus qualifying the consumer for insurance they wouldn’t have otherwise been eligible for.
This can have harmful effects on the consumer as they can lose access to other benefits they may qualify for, such as County Health Programs. They may be unable to fill needed prescriptions due to cost sharing or deductibles.

Possible Red Flags

  • People offering free health insurance to individuals with very low or no income
  • People approaching homeless individuals at places like bus stops, convenience stores or day shelters offering free insurance
  • Offering a small compensation for your personal information; for example, $2 to $5 or a cup of coffee.
  • People who do not clearly state who they represent, suggesting that they are with a public health program

If you or someone you know is a possible victim of this scam, please report the information to:

Erin Richards, ACA Program Coordinator,, or call (727) 460-6416

For more information, visit us Online at:

Pinellas County Human Services- Affordable Care Act