Madigan warns of Affordable Care Act scams
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org October 4, 2013 9:18PM
Updated: November 7, 2013 6:47AM
With the Affordable Care Act, there are Affordable Care Act scams, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan warned Friday during a consumer fraud roundtable at the Joliet Public Library.
On Oct. 1, health care insurance exchanges went live as part of the federal law, which is designed to get uninsured people covered by a policy or expanded Medicaid programs.
Any time a new government program is rolled out, there are thieves looking to take advantage of people, Madigan said, and crooks are trying to dupe people who may be confused about how the new system works.
“We already are starting to see scam artists operate,” she said. “And so what we’ve been telling people is that no one, nobody has to pay for help.”
There are certified specialists who will assist people who want to review their options under the new law or to enroll in one of the programs, she said. The Illinois Department of Insurance is adding names to a list of certified specialists at insurance.illinois.gov.
Madigan also warned consumers to be wary of anyone who contacts them out of the blue.
“If somebody contacts you, the only thing you do is take information from them,” she said. “You should not give them any of your personal or financial information.”
Madigan said some specialists will be going door to door to find people who may be eligible for the insurance exchange or Medicaid program, but she does not endorse that tactic.
“Because I say to people, ‘Don’t ever answer your door to a stranger if you have no idea why that person is there. Maybe they’re there to help, but there also is a chance they may be there to harm them physically and/or financially.’”
People who do work with a certified specialist to sign up for medical insurance under the law should input their own Social Security number and bank information.
“Ask that specialist ... to at least turn their head when you put that information into the computer yourself,” Madigan said.
Finally, she stressed that senior citizens who are covered by Medicare do not need to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“If you already have Medicare, you have health insurance,” she said. “You don’t need to do anything, and you shouldn’t be providing your Medicare number, your Social Security number, your bank account number, your credit card number to anybody. So please be careful.”
Madigan directed people to the state’s website on the health care law, www.getcoveredillinois.gov, or its hotline at (866) 311-1119 for more information and assistance.