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Health Reform 101 – Protect Yourself against Scams and Insurance Fraud

September 23, 2013

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL, MN – Health reform changes have created new ways for insurance scams and fraud to occur. The Commerce Department wants you to be confident that you are buying the right plan for you from a trusted source.

First, you should know that in most cases, if you are already covered you do not need to buy a new policy. This includes if you are covered through your employer, Medicare, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), TRICARE or veterans coverage.

You should also know that the only place you can receive financial help to buy a health plan is through MNsure, Minnesota’s online health insurance marketplace.

Everyone should be careful when deciding to buy a health plan or change their coverage. However, scammers often target seniors and those with lower incomes to try to sell them fake or inadequate policies. A scammer might offer to sell you a health plan at a very low price compared to others on the market. Or they may make you pay a fee to ensure that you get the best price or the most financial help to buy coverage. Watch out for these tactics, as they often mean someone is not a real insurance agent or does not work for a legitimate company.

Always make sure you know who is getting your personal or financial information. If you feel pressured to make a decision or payment that you aren’t sure about, take the time to discuss it with someone you trust. You can also call the Commerce Department to find out if you are dealing with a licensed agent, broker, or insurer.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is here to help.

Call our Consumer Response Team at 651-539-1600 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3602 (in Greater Minnesota) if you have any questions about your insurance or if you believe you have been a victim of a scam or fraud.