Con artist promise access to affordable health insurance for a fee
FRANKFORT — Scammers are targeting Kentucky families looking for access to affordable health insurance, said Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Beshear issued a Scam Alert recently after receiving multiple reports of health insurance related scams. A Lexington resident recorded a portion of a scam call from the “National Health Enrollment Center.”
The automated caller asks if you are looking for affordable insurance coverage and quickly says you qualify for great plans as low as $199 a month for individuals and $399 a month for a family plan. The call is then transferred to a “qualified insurance specialist,” who pretends they are helping you get access to affordable coverage. The “specialist” then attempts to steal your personal and financial information by asking for your credit card information to pay a fee for service or to make your first monthly insurance payment.
“Health insurance is a vital lifeline for every Kentucky family and it is shameful that scammers are luring in victims with the false hope of receiving access to affordable health care coverage,” said Beshear. “Kentuckians should know that they do not have to pay for help accessing health insurance.”
Beshear’s Office of Senior Protection and Mediation said there are a variety of health insurance scams and offered tips to help Kentuckians avoid health care scams:
· Never pay to access health insurance. Employees of legitimate health care companies and the government do not charge you for help in accessing health insurance.
· Guard your personal and financial information. The government will never ask you to verify your Social Security number or bank information over the phone. Government agencies will never ask you to wire money or pay using a gift card or other hard to trace methods of payment. If you did not initiate contact with a government agency and you suddenly receive a call, email or text from someone saying they are a government employee, it is most likely a scam.
· Be wary of all medical discount offers. Offers that boast a “low monthly rate” or “medical discount card” should be researched. Medical discount plans do not pay your health care costs and participants will not have the same protections afforded to them by a licensed health insurance plan.
· Verify the company or agency. Many scammers are successful because they trick their victims into believing they represent the government or a legitimate organization. Before providing information research and verify the company or agency. The best way to obtain legitimate information about government health insurance is to visit the federal government website HealthCare.gov. The Kentucky Department of Insurance also has information on health insurance companies in Kentucky.
Anyone with possible information regarding scam activity should report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 888-432-9257 and file a complaint online.
One of Beshear’s top priorities is to protect Kentucky consumers, especially seniors, from scams, abuse and exploitation.
Beshear recommends Kentuckians stay ahead of scammers by signing up for Scam Alerts. To enroll text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311) or online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.