Health insurance scams are spreading across the country, with shady pitchmen marketing deceptive or phony health plans in most states, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

The plans claim to provide protection, but offer little or no medical insurance coverage.

Here are six signs of a bogus health plan:

1. Pushy pitchmen and invasive sales tactics

Beware of plans advertised through spam emails, blast faxes, fliers on telephone poles, or telemarketers. Don't work with sales reps who push you to sign up right away, lure you with limited-time special deals, or ask for bank account or credit card information before you learn plan details.

2. Too good to be true

Bogus plans boast rock-bottom premiums and convenience. You supposedly get coverage without having to submit information about your health to the insurer. But when it comes time to pay medical bills, the plans pay nothing.

3. Phony groups

Some fake plans ask you to join an association or union to give the impression you're signing up for group health insurance. Usually the group doesn't exist, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud warns. Check the group's website and street address, and be skeptical of any requirement to join a group that has nothing to do with your profession or interests.

4. Little or no detail

Shady sales reps are typically vague about details. Don't buy any insurance product without reading the policy. Beware of deceptive plans that make it sound like you'll get coverage but merely offer discounts to certain providers.

5. Unlicensed insurer or agent

Some scam artists claim they don't need to be licensed because their health plans are regulated by the federal government. But state governments regulate individual health insurance plans and require insurers and agents selling the plans to be licensed. Some health plans also claim they're underwritten by a legitimate insurance company. Call the insurance company to check.

6. Health care reform lies

Don't trust a sales rep who claims the health plan is part of "health care reform" or "Obamacare" and says you're required to sign up during a "limited open enrollment" period. Some swindlers even claim to be from the government.

Contact your state insurance department if you're suspicious of a health plan or you think you might have been conned. Provide as much detail as you can to help regulators investigate and prevent others from being exploited.