As Illinois residents prepare to enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace, state Rep. Emily McAsey is warning residents to beware of con artists trying to take advantage of health care customers by making fraudulent offers.
“Uninsured and under-insured Illinoisans can now get health care coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” McAsey said. “While I encourage people looking for affordable health care to explore their options, I also want to make sure that they are on the lookout for potential scams and take the necessary steps to protect themselves.”
To help prevent fraud, the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) is certifying individuals trained to help others apply to the Marketplace, called navigators. Consumers will be able to check the credentials of navigators either by asking them to produce their certificate or checking on the DOI website. McAsey also warns residents against responding to unsolicited phone calls that ask for personal health or financial information, to create a personal account, or to pay a fee to enroll in the Marketplace. Seniors and people with disabilities should also be aware that the Marketplace does not replace Medicare coverage and they should not give out any information regarding their Medicare card.
“As with any new program, consumers need to be aware of potential tricks by those trying to steal personal information,” McAsey said. “As long as people interested in signing up through the Marketplace use caution and common sense, con artists won’t be able to make them victims of identity theft. I encourage you to contact my office if you have any questions about how to participate in this new health care exchange.”
To apply or learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace, please visit getcoveredillinois.gov or call 866-311-1119. For more information, contact McAsey’s full-time constituent service office at 815-372-0085.