The Arkansas Insurance Commission has issued a consumer alert to be on the lookout for scammers in the weeks leading up to the open enrollment period of the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange) related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which begins October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014.
Specifically, the Department warns:
- Enrollment does not open until October 1, so you cannot enroll in coverage until then.
- Coverage does not begin until January 1, 2014, so if someone promises coverage before then, that is a red flag.
- You should not response to unsolicited phone calls of any kind, especially ones asking for personal financial information, personal health information, or money.
- There is no fee to create a Marketplace account or to enroll for health insurance through the Marketplace.
- Scammers often put a small twist on a popular insurance company name. Just because it sounds like an insurance company, doesn’t mean it is.
- There are already fake exchanges on the internet which may pop up during an online search.
- Use http://www.arhealthconnector.org or http://www.healthcare.gov to stay informed.
The Department is currently training licensed insurance agents and brokers, who will be known as “Guides” or “Navigators” to assist consumers with the open enrollment. These trained assisters will be licensed by the department and their names will be available on the ARHealthConnector.org website. They will assist consumers at no charge, once they are trained and licensed.
If you suspect fraud, it should be reported to the AID Consumer Services Division at 800-852-5494.