Tip line targets health insurance scams
Updated: Tuesday, October 1 2013, 04:57 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. --
W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday that his office has established a fraud and identity theft tip line for consumers to call if they encounter problems during or after enrolling for health insurance.
â€śWith the start of open enrollment, our office remains very concerned about the possibility of consumerâ€™s private information being misused or consumers becoming victimized by scammers,â€ť Morrisey said in a news release. â€śTo help address these concerns, members of our staff will be standing by to help consumers and jump to action if disconcerting trends seem to emerge.â€ť
Specifically, Consumer Protection Division employees will field calls and answer queries from citizens about challenges or scams they encounter. In addition, the officeâ€™s consumer advocates and compliance specialists will work with citizens in local communities to educate them about the Affordable Care Act and ways to protect their financial and personal information. In addition, the office will distribute a brochure highlighting ways to avoid scams.
â€śThis tip line is not designed to take a pro or con view of the law, but rather help citizens if they encounter issues in enrolling, including people using high-pressure sales tactics or spreading false messages, such as the IRS sending bills or penalties,â€ť Morrisey said. â€śOur office stands ready to protect consumers, regardless of my personal opinions of the law.â€ť
West Virginiaâ€™s Health Care Marketplace opens Oct. 1. Between now and January, citizens who currently donâ€™t have health insurance must sign up for some form of insurance or risk being penalized by the IRS.
â€śOur office is committed to assisting consumers and businesses during the open enrollment period and into the future,â€ť Morrisey said. â€śWe plan to do everything we can to make this time of change as seamless as possible for citizens and work daily to help them protect their financial information and identity.â€ť
Consumers with concerns about enrolling for health insurance or with tips about identity theft scams can call 800-368-8808 and ask to speak with a health care specialist.