Thu
Oct 3 2013
12:20 pm

There are widespread reports of scam artists exploiting fear and confusion about the Affordable Care Act a/k/a "Obamacare."

The Mrs. got a robocall just yesterday from the 615/Nashville area code saying that the insurance marketplace is open and you need to sign up and here are the steps you must follow etc. She hung up before getting to the grift.

According to various reports, the scams fall into general categories of identity theft, charging fees to assist signing up through the marketplace, or selling cheap, fake insurance policies that meet the minimum requirements for the individual mandate under the threat of fines or jail time. A special category involves seniors on Medicare being told they have to reapply and purchase a new insurance card.

Government officials will not call you to ask for any personal information such as bank account numbers or Social Security numbers. If someone does, report them to the State Attorney General's Consumer Affairs Division at 800-342-8385 (toll free in Tennessee) or 615-741-4737.

To apply for insurance in the marketplace, go to healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596. Anyone needing assistance understanding their options and selecting the right plan can contact a trained and certified navigator. In Knox and surrounding counties*, you can contact the Knoxville Area Project Access Navigator Program at 865-531-2766. The federally funded Navigator program services are provided free of charge.

In general terms, seniors and others on Medicare, TennCare patients and people with insurance through work do not need to do anything with regard to ACA and the marketplace.

More info:

Health Marketplace Scams Put Consumers at Risk
Most Common Obamacare Scams
Obamacare confusion providing opening for con artists
Seniors face more scams as Obamacare launches

*According to KAPA, the counties covered by the Knoxville area Navigator program include Knox, Blount, Sevier, Anderson, Roane, Loudon, Grangier, Cumberland, Jefferson, Union and Monroe counties.

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