Scammers taking advantage of confusion about health care reform

Health care insurance customers need to be aware of numerous scams that have been reported throughout the country as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act approaches, according to Stephen W. Robertson, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Insurance. The scammers are taking advantage of the confusion about the health care reform in to obtain a customer’s Social Security, credit card and bank account numbers throughout a phone solicitation or a bogus website.

Robertson explained that Indiana law for years has required insurance brokers and agents to be licensed by the state’s Department of Insurance. A similar training and licensing requirement was established by the Legislature for individuals called “Navigators” (created by the Affordable Care Act) who may legally assist consumers buying insurance through the Federal Insurance Marketplace. Consumers should ask to see the license/certification of the insurance salesperson or advisor.

He also identified some of the most common situations reported by insurance departments through country.

The salesperson says a premium offer is only good for a limited time – the Federal Marketplace open enrollment period is from October 1 to March 31, 2014.

The salesperson says that you will go to jail for not having health insurance – the Affordable Care Act does require all Americans to have insurance, but there are only financial penalties for not having health insurance.

You receive an unsolicited phone call or email from someone trying to sell you health insurance – representatives of the Federal Insurance Marketplace will not contact individuals to sell insurance. At no time should you give your personal or financial information to an unknown phone solicitor.

To report any issues about an insurance agent or broker, consumers can call the Indiana Department of Insurance at 1-800-622-4461 or file a report online at www.in.gov/idoi/2683.htm


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