One of my responsibilities as a navigator is to help educate the public concerning the Affordable Care Act. That includes educating consumers on how to protect themselves in terms of not getting “ripped off” while trying to purchase healthcare through the Health Insurance Marketplace
When you apply for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can protect yourself from fraud by following a few simple rules.
1) The number one rule is you should never have to pay someone to help you enroll in the Insurance Marketplace.
2) The Marketplace has trained assisters in every state to help you at no cost. You should never be asked to pay for services or help to apply for Marketplace coverage.
3) Never give your financial information, like your banking, credit card, or account numbers, to someone who calls or comes to your home uninvited, even if they say they are from the Marketplace. (See “If you get a call from the Marketplace” below.)
4) Never give your personal health information, like your medical history or specific treatments you’ve received, to anyone who asks you for it. (If you apply for certain Marketplace exemptions, you may be asked for medical documentation.)
5) Ask questions if any information is unclear.
6) Write down and keep a record of the name of a salesperson or anyone who may assist you, who he or she works for, telephone number, street address, mailing address, email address, and website.
7) Double check any information that is confusing or sounds fishy. Check out HealthCare.gov to verify things or call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.
See video: Tips to avoid health insurance scams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHAwkXxyDhY
When to report fraud?
It’s time to take action if:
- Someone other than the insurance company you’ve chosen contacts you about health insurance and asks you to pay – or asks for your financial or personal health information
- Someone you don’t know contacts you about getting health insurance and asks you to pay – or asks you for your personal financial or health information
- Someone contacts you and claims to be from the government or Medicare – and asks you to pay for a new “Obamacare” insurance card
- You give your personal health, bank account, or credit card information to someone who calls you and says they’re from the government
You can report suspected fraud one of 2 ways:
- If you suspect identity theft, or feel like you gave your personal information to someone you shouldn’t have, use the Federal Trade Commission’s online Complaint Assistant.You should also contact your local police department.Visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft to learn more about identity theft.
- Call the Health Insurance Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Explain what happened and your information will be handled appropriately.
Note: If you are a Medicare beneficiary, you do NOT need to buy insurance in the new Health Insurance Marketplace.