Delaware health care push slowed by scams

 (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

As the state continues its push to get the uninsured to enroll under the Affordable Care Act, they’re warning of scammers taking advantage of that effort.

The Department of Health and Social Services has received at least one complaint of a resident who got a call from someone claiming to be an Affordable Care Act representative. The caller attempted to collect a premium payment over the phone. When the resident asked the caller to confirm their address, the caller hung up.

As the March 31 deadline for signing up approaches, DHSS officials warn that similar scams may become more frequent. They say consumers should be aware that premium payments are only made between the consumer and the insurance company with no other party involved.

They offer the following tips to prevent fraud: 

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The customer service representative will say they are calling from the Marketplace and provide a full name and agent ID number. Write them down.

A Marketplace representative may leave a message on your answering machine. If this happens, you won’t be able to call back. If the Marketplace can’t reach you after three tries, you will get a mailed letter telling you what to do next.

Never give financial information, like your banking, credit card, or account numbers, to someone who calls or comes to your home uninvited, even if they say they are from the Marketplace. 

Callers might claim that you need a new Obamacare insurance or Medicare card. This is not true; you are not required to obtain new insurance or Medicare cards because of the Affordable Care Act.

If you are contacted by anyone who says you are required to act during a “limited time” to purchase a new plan or update your information, simply hang up and do not give out any personal information. Do not reply to fraudulent emails or text messages.

If you suspect you’ve been the target of fraud, you can report it to the fraud division of the Delaware Department of Insurance at (302) 674-7350 or  (800) 632-5154.

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