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Fly by Night?

Don't fall for a scam--use these tips before you buy health insurance.

By Jacquelyn Lynn

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you buy health insurance, you're buying the peace ofmind of knowing that medical bills will be paid. But what if theplan is bogus? As crimes go, health insurance swindlers aren'tlikely to make anyone's most wanted list--unless, of course,you happen to be among their victims. These scammers typicallytarget small businesses and their employees, often collectingmillions of dollars in premiums and vanishing when claims startcoming in.

With health insurance costs rising, so are opportunities for conartists selling what appear to be affordable health plans. How canyou make sure you don't become a victim of a fraudulent plan?Jeanne Salvatore, vice president for consumer affairs with theInsurance InformationInstitute in New York City, offers these tips:

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