Wyoming officials are warning Wyoming Consumers to be cautious regarding potential fraud resulting from misunderstandings of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Insurance Commissioner Tom Hirsig and Attorney General Peter Michael say look-alike sites may divert consumers from the only official website for the health insurance marketplace: healthcare.gov.
In a release, Hirsig and Michael advise contacting Wyoming Navigators by calling 2-1-1 or visiting wyoming211.org if you have questions about enrollment through the marketplace.
Things to know about open enrollment and the health insurance exchange:
- If enrolling online, always start at healthcare.gov.
- Never give personal health or financial information to someone who cold-calls or makes uninvited home visits.
- Consumers should never be asked to pay for services for help in enrolling in Marketplace coverage.
- Scammers may tell consumers that if they do not have health insurance, they could go to jail. Starting in January 2014, most people will be required to have health insurance, also known as the “individual mandate.” The consequence for not having insurance is a potential tax penalty, not jail time.
- Medicare beneficiaries do not need to enroll in a new health plan. Medicare satisfies the individual mandate.
- Scammers may tell consumers that there is “limited time available for special premium rates.” The initial open enrollment period for enrolling in a Market place plane is from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. There are no special premium rates based on enrollment time.
- Verify that in-person assistors are certified by calling 2-1-1 or visiting wyoming211.org.
If you suspect fraud or have questions, contact any of the following resources:
- Wyoming Department of Insurance: (307)777-7401
- Wyoming Attorney General: (800)438-5799 or (307)777-5833
- Federal Consumer Hotline: 1-800-318-2596
- Federal Trade Commission Complaint Assistance: 877-FTC-HELP, or visit ftc.gov