Protect Yourself from Fraud

While the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace creates wider access to health coverage, there are people and organizations that might try to take advantage of you. Read these tips to protect your personal information.

Scammers—wanting to capitalize on confusion surrounding —are targeting Missourians and making false claims to steal their victims’ financial information and money. Examples of these new types of scams include:

Scammers placing advertisements from phony organizations that claim Missouri has appointed their Obamacare-certified staff to help the uninsured obtain government subsidies for free health insurance.

Scammers phoning victims, stating they are calling from the government, Medicaid, Medicare, or the Missouri Marketplace. They then request victims provide personal financial information for purchasing their Obamacare insurance card.

The best way for you to protect yourself is to know your options in the Marketplace, where to find trustworthy help, and to recognize the warning signs of a scam.

Cover Missouri recommends you take the following steps to protect yourself:

1. Be informed about your health care choices.

Educate yourself about the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace with information from trustworthy sources, like Cover Missouri and the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can also contact the official Marketplace Call Center:

  • Individuals/families can call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • owners can call 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 1-800-706-7915) Monday-Friday, 8 am- 4 pm CT.

2. Do not give out private health care and financial information.

Keep personal and account numbers private, and never give your social security number, credit card, or banking information to companies you did not contact yourself. No one should ever ask for your personal health information, and never give it to anyone who calls or visits your home uninvited – even if they say they are from the Marketplace.

3. Get help from certified professionals.

The Marketplace has trained and licensed [gsNavigator]s and s available to help you at no cost. You should never be asked to pay for their services or help enrolling in the Marketplace. Visit https://localhelp.healthcare.gov for a list of certified people near you who can help. You can also use Cover Missouri’s Zip Code Locator to find certified assisters in your area.

Also, be sure to:

  • Ask questions if you are not sure about any information you get.
  • Keep a record of people who help you, including their name, organization, phone number, street address, email address, and website.
  • Double check information that is confusing or sounds suspicious at www.covermissouri.org or www.healthcare.gov. Or, contact the official Marketplace Call Center 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).
  • Do not sign anything you do not fully understand.

4. Pay attention to scam warning signs.

Examples include requests for payment or personal, financial, and health information, such as your social security or bank account numbers; or, individuals claiming to represent the government, , or and asking you to pay for your new Obamacare Card.

5. Report practices you think are scams.

You can help stop these health reform scams by reporting suspected fraud to the Federal Trade Commission. You can do this through the official Marketplace Call Center 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). You should also notify the Missouri Attorney General’s office at http://ago.mo.gov/consumercomplaint.htm or 1-800-392-8222.

Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare

A law passed in 2010 that made many changes in how Americans get health insurance. It created a website, the Health Insurance Marketplace, as a new way to buy health insurance.

Small business

Under the Affordable Care Act, a small business is a for-profit or nonprofit business with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.

Certified application counselor (CAC)

People who provide free help to consumers enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. CACs work at local community organizations, hospitals or health centers.

Medicare

A government health insurance program for Americans who are age 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people who have end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

Medicaid

A government health insurance program for Americans who have low incomes or disabilities. In Missouri, this program is called “MO HealthNet” for adults, and “MO HealthNet for Kids” for children up to age 19.