SCAMMERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEALTH
Consumers searching for health insurance coverage since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (PPACA) should be on the lookout for scammers hoping to take advantage of the confusion surrounding the details of the new law. State insurance regulators are receiving complaints about scam artists going door-to-door selling “ObamaCare” insurance policies or claiming there is a limited open-enrollment period to buy health insurance. Some of these scam artists have even set up bogus toll-free numbers to sell policies.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners
(NAIC) warns consumers who have been offered a policy that is a
“limited-time offer,” has limited benefits or is advertised as
necessitated by health insurance reform, to STOP before
making a payment, CALL their state insurance department
and CONFIRM the policy, agent and company are
No Immediate Changes
While there are many changes coming in the health insurance marketplace, there are no provisions in the PPACA that require consumers to make immediate modifications to their health coverage. Many of the initial changes will go into effect six months from when the law was signed by President Obama - or September of this year. Until then, state insurance regulators, the NAIC and the federal government are working on implementing the changes. This means designing and putting into place at the state level many of the new consumer programs and regulations.
Don't Be Misled
Here are some important “red flags” to watch out for:
For a list of the changes included in the PPACA and when they will go
into effect, visit the NAIC
Health and Managed Care Committee Web page (http://www.naic.org/committees_b.htm)
and look for the PPACA charts. Information can also be found on the White House Web site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform)
and the HHS Web site (http://www.healthreform.gov/).
About the NAIC
Formed in 1871, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
(NAIC) is a voluntary organization of the chief insurance regulatory
officials of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S.
territories. The NAIC has three offices: Executive Office, Washington,
D.C.; Central Office, Kansas City, Mo.; and Securities Valuation Office,
New York City. The NAIC serves the needs of consumers and the industry,
with an overriding objective of supporting state insurance regulators as
they protect consumers and maintain the financial stability of the
insurance marketplace. For more consumer information, visit insureUonline.org.
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