It has been a bumpy first week — and a somewhat surreal one — for the launch of the health care marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, which has remained the heart of a partisan dispute that resulted in the first government shutdown in 17 years.
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Tips to avoid ACA scams
Guard your personal information: Legitimate government representatives will never contact you unexpectedly and request personal information, such as your Social Security or bank account number. If you do give out personal information tied to a potential scam, immediately inform your banks, credit card providers, and the three major credit bureaus.
Never pay upfront fees: Government program representatives do not sell insurance or demand upfront payment, and navigators (individuals who can provide information about the ACA) are free.
Get information from reliable sources: Watch out for phony websites or individuals who pretend to be associated with the government. Contact the Ohio Department of Insurance and the federal government if you have questions about the ACA. Report scams or suspicious activity to the Ohio Attorney General and Department of Insurance.
Health Insurance Exchange: Watch for Bogus Websites
The new federally-run health insurance exchange in Ohio is an online portal where consumers who need individual health insurance and small businesses can go to secure certain coverage. You can find more information about the federal exchange in Ohio by visiting www.healthcare.gov, which is the only website where Ohioans can enroll.
Check for Certification of navigators and insurance agents: Navigators, who must be certified by the Ohio Department of Insurance, were created by the federal law to provide information about the exchanges to consumers. Funded by the federal government, navigators are prohibited from recommending specific plans. Navigators who receive certification will be searchable on www.insurance.ohio.gov.
Sources: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor
On Sunday, Your Guide: The Affordable Care Act is a special section with everything you need to know about the changes and how they will affect you.
WHIO TV will air a special WHIO Reports on Sunday with a panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act.
Online: Ask a question, calculate your health insurance premiums, read the latest developments and get other facts at MyDaytonDailyNews.com