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Contact 2: Affordable Care Act Scam Warning

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(KTVI) - If you don't have health insurance, the last thing you can afford is getting scammed.  Its possible people will get ripped off following the United States Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act.   The Better Business Bureau knows there`s a risk of scams because complaints were filed in 2010 when the law initially passed.   So a new BBB warning comes just a couple of days after the high court ruled.  The law was upheld on Thursday.  And there are signs it was just about the same time that scams began to surface.   Chris Thetford of the BBB says no reports have come in locally but…

'We have seen an uptick in people checking out companies in this area.'

The un-insured and the under-insured may feel the need to rush into signing up.  Scammers use the phone and email pushing phony policies according to Thetford.

'Watch out for emails that are attempting to sell you health insurance or asking for information to get you enrolled in government programs, related to health insurance.   Those could be attempts, once again for people to steal your identity'

Consumers are told to buy quickly because the enrollment period is short.   But Thetford says, you won`t be asked to make such an important decision without giving it some thought.

'It is very unlikely somebody is going to come door to door selling insurance particularly health insurance.   It`s a complicated business.  It’s not something that is going to be transacted on your door step.'   Missouri consumers who suspect fraud should contact the Insurance Consumer Hotline.  Both Missouri and Illinois will take complaints through the department of insurance.  And of course the better business bureau should be on your list as well.  Call us with your consumer issue.  Volunteers take calls Monday through Thursday from 11am till 1pm.  The number is 800 782-2222.  Below you`ll find tips on protecting yourself and links to the Department of Insurance in both Illinois and Missouri

The BBB has tips for consumers who are approached by door-to-door salespeople:
•    High-pressure tactics are often a part of fraudulent door-to-door sales and solicitations. Don't let yourself be hurried, intimidated or coerced.

•    If you are interested in buying from a door-to-door seller, get everything in writing, including price, warranty and all conditions. Tell the salesperson you will check over the information and get back to him or her.

•    Always ask for proper identification before listening to the pitch.

•    Never let a stranger inside your home.

•    If you feel threatened, call the police.

•    Be skeptical of email offers or pop-up ads touting health insurance. Legitimate insurance companies aren't likely to contact you online to sell insurance.

Missouri Dept. of Insurance   http://insurance.mo.gov/
Illinois  Dept. of Insurance   http://insurance.illinois.gov/
Better Business Bureau       www.bbb.org