Attorney General Kathleen Kane is urging Pennsylvanians to protect their personal information during the open enrollment period of President Barack Obama's health care law.
Kane said the open enrollment process could bring a rise in financial, medical or insurance identity theft scams.
Tuesday was the first day Pennsylvanians could start shopping for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Consumers have until December 15 to enroll for coverage beginning January 1.
Kane said her office will monitor the rollout to look for patterns in consumer complaints, and will issue consumer alerts accordingly.
The state attorney general's office offers the following tips to help Pennsylvanians avoid handing personal information to the wrong person:
- Be wary of illusory government and company names claiming to help with enrollment, especially if they list a toll-free number other than that of the official help center. Enrollment is simply an option available to consumers, who will not be contacted by state or federal government in person or by phone, email or text.
- Guard your personal information. If you get a call or email asking to verify personal information for any government health insurance plan or for a Medicare card, hang up the phone or ignore the email. You will not be contacted and Medicare is not a part of the marketplace.
- Do not be influenced by the mention of special rates or discounts, as none exist beyond the cuts set by the marketplace.
- Ignore any correspondence asking for a fee. There is no fee to submit an application to enroll in a plan in the marketplace, and the people trained to help consumers with the ACA transition will not ask for money.
Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victimized by a rollout-related scam can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General by calling the Health Care Section's toll-free hotline, 1-877-888-4877, or by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov.
The toll-free number for the marketplace is 1-800-318-2596 and the website is www.healthcare.gov.