Consumer Column

Do Not Get Scammed During Open Enrollment

BATON ROUGE, LA – With the open enrollment deadline quickly approaching, many Louisiana consumers are on the lookout for new health insurance plans; and Attorney General Jeff Landry is encouraging them, especially the elderly, to protect themselves from scammers looking to steal their information.

“Research shows that Americans ages 65 and older are the prime targets of scams and receive more mail and telephone solicitations than any other age group,” said General Landry. “So our office is doing all we can to educate seniors about the real threat of elder fraud and help all consumers from falling victim to scams.”

Ahead of the December 15 open enrollment deadline, General Landry is offering the following tips to consumers looking for a new health insurance plan:

Medicare

·         There are no Medicare sales representatives. If someone comes to your door attempting to sell insurance, it is a scam.

·         The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is voluntary and does not affect your Medicare coverage. If you receive a call saying you will lose your insurance if you don’t join their prescription plan, it is a scam.

·         If you receive a call or email claiming that you need to give your Medicare number in order to update your account or to get a new card, it is a scam.

·         Never give your personal information over the phone or by email. If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to medicare.gov.

Private insurance

·           Medical discount plans are not the same as health insurance, though many claim to be.

·            The Louisiana Department of Insurance (1-800-259-5300) can tell you if the plan is insurance and whether the seller is licensed in Louisiana.

Affordable Care Act

·         Only shop for coverage at HealthCare.gov. People who try to sign you up elsewhere may be scammers.


If you think you may be a victim of a health care scam, report it to General Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.