Vermont Commissioner Warns Health Insurance Scams on the Rise in Wake of Health Care Reform
Many people do not yet fully understand how the recently approved health insurance reform legislation will affect their health insurance coverage, access to services, or options available to them or their families. This has created an opportunity for scam artists and criminals looking to confuse and defraud the public.
Stories of fraudsters going door-to-door to sell phony insurance policies, and accounts of con artists attempting to make dishonest profits by urging consumers to obtain coverage in non-existent "limited enrollment" periods they claim are made possible with this new legislation have already been reported by the media.
“Vermonters can sometimes feel like we’re a safe distance from the scams and fraudulent activities we hear about on the national news,” said Paulette Thabault, Vermont’s Commissioner of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA). “Unfortunately, Vermont is not immune from criminals looking to take advantage of individuals, and scams and illegal activities do occur in our state.”
Thabault advises Vermonters to beware of health insurance policies that are offered with time-limited and offer-limited benefits, or ones advertised as necessitated by health insurance reform. She also encourages anyone who is unsure that an opportunity is legitimate to check with BISHCA before signing a policy or writing a check for new health insurance coverage.
Consumer Services Specialists at BISHCA’s Health Care Administration are available to answer consumer questions about health insurance coverage. They can be reached at 1-800-631-7788 (toll-free in VT) or by e-mail: BISHCA-PubInfo@state.vt.us. Additional information on health insurance options in Vermont can also be found on the BISHCA website (www.dfr.vermont.gov).
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