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NEWS STORIES

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

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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
After Wisconsin deer harvest fall, Upper Peninsula numbers plummetSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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UPPER PENINSULA - The deer harvest during the gun season fell more than 15 percent in Wisconsin from a year ago.

In the Upper Peninsula, the drop was even worse.

Early results show the deer harvest in the U.P. was down 30 to 40 percent compared to 2013.

Registrations at some check stations dropped as much as 60 percent during the 16-day season in late November.

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$30 million expansion part of Phillips-Medisize growth planSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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PHILLIPS - A high level employee at Phillips-Medisize Corp., based in Hudson, WI, calls the company's $30 million announced expansion part of the group's growth plan. VP/GM Global Commercial Division at Phillips-Medisize Rob Werge says the company's medical and consumer product lines are also growing.

The company has annual sales of nearly $600 million with around 75% of the total revenue coming from drug delivery, medical device and diagnostic products such as: disposable insulin pens, glucose meters, specialty inhalation drug delivery devices, single use surgical devices and consumable diagnostic components, according to company data.

Phillips-Medisize employs 285 people at its Phillips facilities, 1,400 people throughout Wisconsin, and more than 3,400 people at 14 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and China.

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Perfect for the holidays- Northwoods woman donates kidney to friend Submitted: 12/17/2014

SUGAR CAMP - You might find all the joy you need this Christmas between two best friends.

Jean Neumann and Patty Bonack fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.

They've shared a friendship for four years, but now they share something else.

Neumann found out she needed a kidney transplant in May.

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Study: Lincoln County professional departments well trained in hazardous materials, volunteer departments need workSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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MERRILL - Would responders in Lincoln County know how to best handle a hazardous material spill in their area?

It might depend on where that spill happens.

A study for a county committee found a big gap in how prepared certain departments might be to handle hazardous materials.

For the most part, professional fire departments and law enforcement are trained well to respond.

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On the Wilderness Act's 50th anniversary, acquaint yourself with pristine areas of northern WisconsinSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - The first thing you notice in this forest is the silence.

That's the way it was meant to be at Blackjack Springs Wilderness east of Eagle River.

It's a venerable forest, to be sure, but the harvest here isn't timber.

"A Wilderness area," Bob Martini says, "what you're harvesting here feeds the soul."

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Flood warning extended in Menominee CountySubmitted: 12/17/2014

KESHENA - A flood warning in the Menominee County community of Keshena will now be extended until Friday.

Yesterday, the water got high enough to close a highway.

The Department of Transportation closed down parts of Highway 47 and 55 due to the flooding yesterday.

The Menominee tribe says the water had risen two inches above the centerline - creating a safety hazard.

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Medical College of Wisconsin to do concussion studySubmitted: 12/17/2014

MADISON - The Medical College of Wisconsin will help study concussions for the Defense Department.

The school got a four-year federal grant of more than 5-million dollars.

Concussions have become common injuries on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in professional and youth sports.

The study will initially include about 900 athletes from 10 local high schools and two local colleges.

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