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HealthCare.gov goes live: What You Need To Know to Avoid Healthcare Scams

User should be careful as some crooks are looking to cash in via email scams.

Be careful when giving out personal information, such as credit card, banking, or Social Security numbers.

Beware of people asking for money to enroll you in the Marketplace, "Exchange," or "Obamacare" insurance. Legitimate enrollment assisters will NOT ask for money. Especially be wary of anyone offering to sell Obamacare insurance cards. Scammers could try to sell you an insurance card without enrolling you in an insurance plan.

Check Credentials. Ask anyone who wants to help you enroll to verify their affiliation. In addition to your licensed insurance agent, there are two new types of licensed assistants who can also help you take the steps necessary to sign up: Certified Application Counselors and Insurance Navigators.
Certified Application Counselors are part of organizations, such as hospitals, that have been certified by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Insurance Navigators are licensed with the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP).

If you receive an email that looks legitimate and asks you to visit a link, be skeptical. Many scammers have created fake web sites to get your personal information.

To avoid scams, here are some key tips to keep in mind while navigating the health exchange
  • If you receive an email from someone you don't know, take caution. The government will not be sending emails, knocking on doors, or calling. Be suspicious if someone contacts you.
    Don’t be swayed by high-pressure visits, mail solicitations, e-mails, and phone calls from people pretending to work for the government. No one should threaten you with legal action if you do not sign up for a plan. Always ask for identification if someone comes to your door.
  • If an email or letter is poorly written, it's probably not real.
  • Don't rush. The Affordable Care Act goes into effect on January 1st. However, there is a grace period so you don't technically have to purchase insurance until the end of March
  • The marketplace is only for people who don't already have health insurance. If you are already covered, you don't have to change anything. 
  • Communicate directly with the Official Exchange. Unless you are using a licensed insurance agent or assistant, the only way to ensure that your personal data is not going to a scammer is to sign up using the official website at HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596. Avoid sham websites and look for official government seals, logos or website addresses. Look for internet sites with a .gov on the end of the website address. 
  • Suspected fraud should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission through the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 or on FTC.gov/complaint. All suspected fraud should also be reported to the Attorney General’s Office at ago.mo.gov or 1-800-392-8222.
If you have any questions, visit healthcare.gov.