Be Wary of Open Enrollment Scams

Posted by Susan Dupre on 11/13/2019

Two important deadlines are quickly approaching for adding or changing your health coverage if you use one of the following options: 

  • Medicare:  December 7
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA): December 15

Gretchen Abraham from the FTC's Division of Consumer & Business Education has shared the following tips on the Federal Trade Commission's website to help you avoid being scammed:

For Medicare:

  • There are no Medicare sales representatives. Anyone who tried to sell you Medicare insurance is a scammer. 
  • You do NOT have to join a prescription drug plan to keep your Medicare insurance. Medicare Part D is voluntary and has nothing to do with your regular Medicare coverage.
  • Telephone scammers posing as "official agents" may ask for personal information, offer free equipment or services, ask for a quick payment, or threaten you. Just hang up.
  • Help with Medicare is available at medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE.

For Affordable Care Act:

  • Compare plans and quality ratings at healthcare.gov, where you can also enroll.
  • This year, you can also sign up for an ACA plan directly with certain certified partners.  Make sure a company is on the Certified Partner list before giving them your information. 
  • After you apply for ACA, you may get a phone call from the Marketplace asking you to verify information or supply additional information. If you are unsure about trusting the caller, ask the representative to mail you a letter with instructions for completing your application.
  • Help for ACA is available from the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596.  You can also meet with a local assistant in your community who will offer free assistance. Local assistance can be found through the Local Assistance tool.