INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Department of Insurance said health care insurance customers need to be aware of scams reported throughout the nation as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act approaches.
Dept. of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson said the scammers are taking advantage of the confusion about health care reform in order to get a customer’s Social Security, credit card and bank account numbers throughout a phone solicitation or a bogus website.
Robertson said for years, state law has required insurance brokers and agents to be licensed by the Department of Insurance. A similar requirement was put in place by the legislature for individuals called “navigators” (created by the Affordable Care Act) who can legally assist consumers purchasing insurance through the Federal Insurance Marketplace.
Robertson said consumers should ask to see the license or certification of any insurance salesperson or advisor who approaches them.
Robertson also identified the most common situations reported by insurance departments throughout the country:
- The salesperson says a premium offer is only good for a limited time – the Federal Marketplace open enrollment period is from October 1 to March 31, 2014.
- The salesperson says that you will go to jail for not having health insurance – the Affordable Care Act does require all Americans to have insurance, but there are only financial penalties for not having health insurance.
- You receive an unsolicited phone call or email from someone trying to sell you health insurance – representatives of the Federal Insurance Marketplace will not contact individuals to sell insurance. At no time should you give your personal or financial information to an unknown phone solicitor.
To report issues about an insurance agent or broker, call the Indiana Department of Insurance at 1-800-622-4461 or file a report online.