If you’re interested in purchasing health insurance, here are some things you should know that can protect you from fraud.
1. Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013 and ends March 31, 2014. It is only during this time that you can be enrolled in a health plan, unless you have particular circumstances, such as a “Qualifying Life Event”—that is, a move to another state, changes in your income, or you marry, divorce, or have a baby. Be suspicious of anyone who tries to enroll you during a different time period.
2. Pay attention to official logos or web addresses. Make sure these are legitimate. Health plans can be purchased either through the “Marketplace Exchange,” or a private insurance broker. Keep in mind that once the enrollment period begins, the Exchange will undoubtedly become
bombarded by folks asking questions and demanding information. It may be preferable for you to purchase insurance through a broker, like Fortier Insurance. One of the key benefits of going through a private broker is that the health plans cost the same as they would if you purchased them through the Marketplace, but you get much more personalized attention. By purchasing a plan through us, not only are you able to create a one-to-one relationship with one of our agents, you also get someone who specializes in the beauty industry and is able to help you identify your needs. And if you’re in the market for other types of insurance–Professional Liability, for example–we can help you with that as well.
3. Never give out any personal or financial information to anyone unsolicited who calls or comes to your home claiming to be from the Marketplace, or any banking or insurance company.
4. Whether you decide to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace or an insurance broker, always ask questions if any information seems confusing to you. You should never be charged for information. Fortier Insurance offers a free consulting session to everyone, and we explain all information in easy-to-understand terms.
5. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud, call the Health Insurance Marketplace Consumer Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. If you suspect identity theft, report it immediately to your local police department and the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline at