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Beware of open enrollment scams

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Posted at 11:42 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 11:42:43-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Open enrollment season is here, and unfortunately, scam artists are trying to take advantage of Hoosiers looking for health care options.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning Tuesday to help people protect their wallets and personal information during open enrollment.

If you’re eligible for Medicare, the FTC says:

  • There are no Medicare sales representatives. Anyone who tries to sell you Medicare insurance while claiming to be an “official Medicare agent” is a scammer.
  • Ignore anyone who says you must join a prescription drug plan to keep your Medicare coverage. The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is voluntary and has nothing to do with the rest of your Medicare coverage.
  • Hang up on anyone who asks for a quick payment, threatens you, or offers you free equipment or services in exchange for your information. Never give information over the phone to someone who says they need it so you can keep your coverage.
  • If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to Medicare.gov.

If you’re looking for coverage under the Affordable Care Act:

  • Enroll at HealthCare.gov. Check out the new Quality Ratings to see how plans compare to others in your state, based on member experience, medical care, and health plan administration.
  • Starting this year, you can also sign up for a plan directly through several certified partners. Make sure the company is on the approved list before giving them your information.
  • Need help? Call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 to ask a question, start or finish an application, compare plans, or enroll. Prefer to meet in person? Use the local assistance tool to find a list of people and organizations in your community who can help you – for free.
  • After you apply, you may get a call from the Marketplace asking you to verify or provide information. If you don't want to answer questions over the phone, ask the representative to mail you a letter with instructions for completing your application.

You have until December 7 to make changes on Medicare and December 15 for the Affordable Care Act.

If you spot a scam, report it to the [ftc.gov/complaint]FTC.

If the scam is Medicare related, report it at 1-800-MEDICARE.