November 29 2017

Be Alert For Scams When Shopping for Health Insurance

By: BNEWS

Be careful when shopping around for insurance programs. The Federal Trade Commission says there are fake sites and organizations looking to steal your money and/or identification.

Open enrollment is here and whether you’re eligible for Medicare, selecting a plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or have private insurance, you have until December 7 (Medicare) or December 15 (ACA) to compare plans and make coverage changes, a notice from the FTC states.

“But as you’re keeping an eye out for the best options, also keep an eye out for scammers,” the FTC says. “Here are a few tips for avoiding scams this open enrollment season.”

Eligible for Medicare?

- Anyone that tries to sell you Medicare insurance while claiming to be an “official Medicare agent” is a scammer. There are no Medicare sales representatives.


- The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is voluntary. Ignore anyone who calls saying you must join their prescription plan or you will lose your Medicare coverage.


- Do not give any information over the phone to someone who tells you that you must provide information to keep your coverage.


- If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to Medicare.gov.

Looking for coverage under the Affordable Care Act?

- Only shop for coverage at HealthCare.gov. People who try to sign you up elsewhere may be scammers.


- Need free assistance? There are people and groups in your community who can help you find coverage and enroll in a plan — and it’s free! To make sure they are legitimate, use the local help resource at HealthCare.gov

Buying private insurance?

- Make sure insurance is what you’re really getting. There are many medical discount plans that pretend to be insurance, but they are not. Your state insurance commissioner’s officecan tell you if a plan is insurance or not and whether the seller is licensed in your state.

 

 

Think you’ve spotted a scam? Report it to the FTC. If the scam is Medicare related, report it at Medicare.gov. And share these tips with your friends and family. It just might help them avoid a scam this open season.

 
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