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Attorney General's office warns of ACA scams

Updated: Wednesday, October 2 2013, 11:17 AM CDT
Written by: Rachel Snody (RSnody@local21news.com)

Attorney General Kathleen Kane wants to remind Pennsylvanian's to protect their personal information during the open enrollment period, which could bring a rise in financial, medical or insurance identity theft scams.
 
Open enrollment in Federal Health Insurance Marketplace plans began on Tuesday for people who buy their own health coverage or who are medically uninsured.  Consumers have until December 15 to enroll for coverage beginning January 1, 2014.

The Attorney General's office says it will monitor the rollout to look for patterns in consumer complaints and issue consumer alerts.
 
The office provided some tips to help protect you from scams.
 
-Be wary of illusory government and company names claiming to help with enrollment, especially if they list a toll-free number other than that of the official help center. Enrollment is simply an option available to consumers, who will not be contacted by state or federal government in person or by phone, email or text.

-Guard your personal information. If you get a call or email asking to verify personal information for any government health insurance plan or for a Medicare card, hang up the phone or ignore the email. You will not be contacted and Medicare is not a part of the marketplace.

-Do not be influenced by the mention of special rates or discounts, as none exist beyond the cuts set by the marketplace.

-Ignore any correspondence asking for a fee. There is no fee to submit an application to enroll in a plan in the marketplace, and the people trained to help consumers with the ACA transition will not ask for money.

-Licensed insurance brokers and agents can seek compensation from insurers or consumers consistent with state law. You can check to see whether a broker or agent is licensed by going to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website at www.insurance.pa.gov or by calling 1-877-881-6388.
 
Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victimized by a rollout-related scam can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General by calling the Health Care Section's toll-free hotline, 1-877-888-4877, or by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov.
 
The toll-free number for the marketplace is 1-800-318-2596 and the website is www.healthcare.gov. The website also is available in Spanish at www.cuidadodesalud.gov.
Attorney General's office warns of ACA scams


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