On October 1, 2013 the enrollment in the Affordable Care Act and its rollout commenced. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has a warning for Pennsylvania residents of potential scams and fraud with the Affordable Care Act rollout.
AG Kane reminds Pennsylvanians to protect their personal information during open enrollment period, which opened October 1, 2013 and runs through March 2014. Kane said the act could bring with it a rise in financial, medical or insurance identity theft scams. The Office of Attorney General will monitor the rollout to look for patterns in consumer complaints and issue consumer alerts accordingly, Kane said.
The office recommended the following few tips for consumers:
• 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. Because enrollment is an option, consumers will not be contacted by state or federal government in person or by phone, email or text.
• Guard personal information. If you get a call or email asking to verify personal information for a government health insurance plan or for a Medicare card, hang up the phone or ignore the email. No one will be contacted, and Medicare is not part of the marketplace.
• Do not be influenced by the mention of special rates or discounts since 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, and people trained to help consumers with the transition will not ask for money. However, licensed insurer brokers and agents can seek compensation from insurers or consumers consistent with state law.
• The toll-free number for the marketplace is 1-800-318-2596 and the website is www.healthcare.gov. There are websites with the same name, but end with “.com,” “.org,” “.net” and so forth. These are not the legitimate site created by the federal government for the Affordable Care Act.
Those who believe they have been victimized by a health care scam can file a complaint with the attorney general’s office by calling the Health Care Section’s toll-free hotline, 1-877-888-4877, or by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov.
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