Scam reported to DC health exchange

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A few consumers enrolling in the Washington, D.C., insurance exchange have been guided instead to a fraudulent website, according to an official working for the Health Link portal.

Only two reports have surfaced about this problem, according to Richard Sorian, director of communications, education and outreach for the exchange. He noted that the report could be from the same person.

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“It’s one of those phishing expeditions that unfortunately arise when our website center is being frequented by the public. It’s not something internal to our system. We’re investigating to see if we can find out what’s going on,” Sorian said in a phone interview Friday to The Hill. 

Phishing is a common tactic used to trick people into revealing personal information, usually by impersonating a trusted website. 

Since the insurance site launched in October, officials have been warning its users not to enter personal information, including PIN numbers.  

“We’re taking it seriously, but it’s not a major problem,” he said.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have warned about cybersecurity issues plaguing the federal portal, HealthCare.gov. Rep. Mike Rogers, (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, advised Thursday that it be shut down until its security is strengthened. 

Capitol Hill staffers must sign up for insurance through the ObamaCare exchange by Monday if they want the federal government to continue paying part of their premiums.

Some reports have found that users of the D.C. site have encountered problems, according to The Washington Post.

As of Friday morning, however, thousands of members of Congress and their employees have successfully enrolled in a health plan, Sorian said.

“Nearly half of those eligible have already completed their applications. More than a third have chosen their new health plan and have completed their enrollment. Most people did this online,” he told The Hill.

D.C. Health Link representatives have provided training sessions to staffers on the Hill every day this week. They will be there once again on Monday because “many people wait until the last day to make a decision,” Sorian said.