LAS VEGAS -- Now that open enrollment has started for the health plans under the Affordable Care Act, state officials are warning people about potential scams.
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper are warning people that scammers are taking advantage of people's uncertainty about the law.
Scammers are posing as navigators, insurance agents, representatives of the federal government or the Nevada Health Link. They are trying to sell fraudulent policies or get personal information.
Here are some red flags consumers should be look out for:
The salesperson says the premium offer is only good for a limited time. Rates for the plans are approved by the Nevada Division of Insurance for the entire enrollment period which is Oct. 1 through March 31.
The salesperson says you could go to jail for not having health insurance. Starting in 2014, all Americans are required to have health insurance, or face a fine. People can get a exemption from that fine, if they qualify. You will not face jail time, if you do not have insurance.
You get an unsolicited phone call, email, visit from someone trying to sell you insurance. The federal government, Nevada Division of Insurance and Nevada Health Link are not contacting individual consumers to sell them insurance. Do not give any sensitive information to anyone who contacts you claiming to be from those organizations.
The salesperson ask you to pay them for help. Neither the State of Nevada nor the federal government will charge for services related to the Affordable Care Act. You never have to pay to get help or information when signing up for insurance.
Do not give cash, credit card or banking information to someone you do not know or did not contact.
Discount medical plans are not illegal, but they are also not insurance. They do not fulfill the coverage requirement. It is illegal to sell discount medical plans as insurance.
If you suspect fraud or have questions about an insurance product contact the Division of Insurance at doi.nv.gov or call (775) 687-0700 in northern Nevada and (702) 486-4009 in southern Nevada.
For information on the Affordable Care Act and to see healthcare plans available through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, go to nevadahealthlink.org.
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