Madison County Health Care System (MCHCS) is urging area residents to be cautious about solicitation calls or emails related to health insurance during the open enrollment period. They also warn against shopping for health insurance online on websites that are not legitimate sources.
Consumers who need health insurance are encouraged to work with a licensed insurance agent or an enrollment assister so they may obtain coverage while safeguarding personal information. You can visit www.iowanavigator.com, a free, non-profit program available to all in-state residents who offers free enrollment assistance, or utilize the vetted website, www.healthcare.gov to purchase health insurance online.
Be cautious of robocalls, unsolicited sales calls or emails from individuals offering to sell health insurance over the phone. To verify the legitimacy of the individual calling, ask the following questions:
- Are you an Iowa-licensed health insurance agent or broker? If so, what is your national producer number (NPN)?
- Are you an Iowa-licensed navigator or certified application counselor?
- Are you offering ACA-compliant qualified health plans?
- Am I eligible for a discount or reduced premium based on my income on the Exchange?
- Am I eligible for Medicaid?
- Are you showing me all the insurance options available?
- Are you charging me a fee? Signing up for health insurance should be free.
“As you shop for health insurance online or over the phone, protect yourself from becoming a scammer’s target,” said Audra Ford, Business Office Manager at MCHCS. “Work with verified, legitimate sources to learn about health insurance coverage and how to get enrolled. Make sure to do your research, only utilize resources you know and trust, and don’t respond to calls or email solicitations from numbers you don’t recognize or people you don’t know.”
Finally, if you have been a victim of a scam, consumers can report health insurance and medical discount scams to the Iowa Insurance Division at iid.iowa.gov/reporting-insurance-fraud. Report Medicare scams at www.Medicare.gov, or call 1-800-633-4227.