Scammers target confused consumers ahead of Affordable Care implementationSubmitted: 09/16/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - People looking for more information on the Affordable Care Act need to watch out for scammers.

In Wisconsin, people will be able to search for a healthcare plan on the state exchange website October first. But a lot of people still don't know what they need to do, or how the new law affects them.

Scammers are taking advantage of that confusion. They're posing as "navigators". That's someone who helps you negotiate, and buy your new insurance plan. Consumer protection groups have seen this before.

"Any time there's a large government program that is rolling out you tend to see scam artists who want to take advantage of consumer confusion over these large programs and what they mean for them. So we saw similar scams, for example, when Medicare Part D went into effect. After that when the Affordable Care Act was first passed, we saw these types of scams popping up, and again when the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act," says John Breyault, from the National Consumers League.

The scammers will ask for information like a credit card or bank account number so you can pay for the insurance they find for you.

But protection groups want you to remember one thing:

"Navigators are not going to call them out of the blue and ask them for this kind of personal information. So if they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with Obamacare, or being a navigator and they start asking for that sort of information, or worse yet, asking you to send them money so you can buy this insurance, be suspicious. Hang up and report the scam," says Breyault.

You can report the scam with the National Consumers League at fraud.org. If you want more information on the Affordable Care Act you can visit healthcare.gov.

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