State leaders warn Minnesotans about health insurance scams
DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - State leaders are warning of a new scam targeting Minnesotans who are no longer eligible for Medical Assistance.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce and MNsure issued a joint statement specifically for Minnesotans who submitted their Medical Assistance (Minnesota’s Medicaid Program) renewal paperwork, found out they did not qualify, and now need new health insurance.
Sometimes, scammers have pretended to be selling a bogus insurance product through MNsure or have taken money by saying they must pay for help enrolling in a plan or a premium upfront over the phone.
“Consumers should be on the alert for health insurance scams, including people claiming to represent MNsure who are not legitimate. MNsure.org is the safest place for consumers to shop for and buy health insurance with confidence or connect with a trusted, MNsure-certified assister for free application and enrollment help,” said CEO Libby Caulum.
“Scammers are trying to trick Minnesota consumers into signing up for something that sounds like comprehensive health insurance when it is not,” said Jacqueline Olson, the Department of Commerce’s Assistant Commissioner for Enforcement. “Our mission is to protect the interests of Minnesota consumers, and the Minnesota Commerce Department takes complaints about the fraudulent and unauthorized sale of insurance seriously. Scammers need to know that their conduct is being pursued.”
The joint statement gave three tips for consumers to confirm that you’re working with MNsure.
- Check the website URL. Make sure you click on MNsure.org if using a search engine, or type MNsure.org into the address bar.
- Take advantage of MNsure’s free and anonymous cost estimates online. MNsure.org has a cost estimator tool that allows you to shop for health plans without submitting your contact information. Be careful with websites that insist on collecting your telephone number to provide you with an estimate. Providing your telephone number to these websites may lead to numerous unwanted calls.
- Watch out for unsolicited calls and requests for payment over the phone. MNsure will never cold call you to try and sell you health insurance or give your phone number to a broker without your prior permission, and MNsure will never call and ask for a Social Security number, credit card or bank account number.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed: If you are asked to pay for assistance getting health insurance through MNsure or think you have been scammed, report it to MNsure immediately by calling the anonymous complaints telephone line at 844-466-7873. Report the person’s name, organization, contact information, and website you used.
MNsure refers cases to the Minnesota Department of Commerce Enforcement Division, which investigates fraud complaints from consumers.
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