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Scammers Lurk Amid HIX Confusion

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 13, 2013

Act Now or Go to Jail

Another scam identified by the NAIC include: Salespersons claiming that the premium offer is only good for a limited time. In fact, enrollment in the exchanges will be open from Oct. 1 to March 31, and rates for plans in the exchanges will have been approved for the entire enrollment period.

 

And scammers are known to employ scare tactics such as warning that consumers will got to jail for not having health insurance.

So far, Praeger says, no scams have surfaced that would require new laws. "Our existing consumer protection laws are adequate," she says. "There might be some creative scam out there we haven't thought about, but in most cases a scam is a scam and anybody trying to misrepresent the sales process or encourage someone to buy something that is not appropriate, our laws are sufficient."

Praeger says providers can help by steering patients to federal and state insurance department websites. "We set up our own separate website just for information about the Affordable Care Act called InsureKS.org," she says. "Hospitals, I am sure, are going to have their staff trained to be enrollment counselors. Most physician offices don't do the wallet biopsy before they treat somebody. They treat and if the person can't pay, hopefully physician offices will at least encourage people to look into the Affordable Care Act provisions."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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