"It was a very in-depth and demanding program. Having completed it, I definitely feel ready to help people through what might be otherwise be a very challenging process"
Yorba Linda, CA (PRWEB) November 01, 2013
Options In Insurance, a California-based health insurance agent is now a certified Covered California insurance agent. Their deep expertise in the health insurance industry and certification in the new California insurance exchange makes them an ideal partner to first-time insured individuals, helping them avoid injury from fraud.
Are you familiar with the American Trade Association, American Employers Association or Global Healthcare? We hope not. These are the names of fraudulent programs being presented to unsuspecting individuals as options in the new state insurance exchanges. Your familiarity with them may mean you've just been had.
The massive changes sweeping health insurance at this time are creating the perfect storm for unscrupulous bad-actors to take advantage of the confusion some people, desperate for coverage and worried that they must meet the 'letter of the law', are experiencing.
There are three general types of scams. The first one is being sold a bogus policy. Similar to this, you may be offered a 'discount card'. Last, you may be contacted for personal information - perhaps to 'verify coverage'. This last one is an attempt to steal your personal identity.
Signs that you're the target of a fraudulent entity could include:
- being told you must sign up for the insurance and have only a very short time to respond (the term 'limited enrollment period' may be used). Realize that the law does not go into effect until January 1. Starting last week, you have three months, not several days or weeks, to complete your research and elect your option.
- receiving frequent contacts (phone, e-mail, faxes) and high-pressure sales solicitation "act now before it's too late"
- receiving incomplete policy disclosure. Unwillingness to show you the complete policy is an indicator you need to keep shopping.
Covered California Certified Insurance Agents, such as Pat Stiffler, Vice President of Options In Insurance, a Southern California-based insurance agency, are trained and certified to help enrollees as assisters in the enrollment process. They are uniquely trained and certified to assist individuals in the enrollment process. Ms. Stiffler explained that her Covered California training process included a 3 day in-class training period as well as a background check and fingerprinting. "It was a very in-depth and demanding program. Having completed it, I definitely feel ready to help people through what might be otherwise be a very challenging process", explained Stiffler. In addition, seasoned insurance agents like Stiffler not only have extensive experience in the insurance industry but will have been through the required paces necessary to hold an insurance broker license - this includes a minimum of 20 hours of in-class pre-licensing education, passing of a rigorous licensing exam, six to nine months of on-the-job training in a licensed brokerage.
Navigators are actually barred from making first contact with individuals. Additionally, navigators cannot charge consumers for providing assistance. Nor can they direct consumers to others who do charge. So, being contacted via door-to-door sales contact, e-mail or phone is your first indication that you may be the target of an insurance scam.
A number of other precautions have been taken to thwart fraudulent activity. These include:
- An increase in federal sentencing guidelines for health care fraud by 20-50% with over $1-million in losses.
- Enhanced screening: Providers and suppliers who might pose a higher risk of fraud or abuse must now undergo license checks and site visits.
- Introduction of new state-of-the-art technology such as advanced predictive technology.
- Provision of an additional $350-million over 10-years to boost anti-fraud efforts.
Your best bet make the best of the new healthcare coverage opportunities available through Covered California by using the various resources at your disposal. These include:
- Covered California Certified Enrollment Counselor Help Desk: 1-888-402-0737
- Visit the Covered California website: http://www.CoveredCA.com
- Work with a certified Covered California insurance agent.
Interested in more information about Covered California or looking for assistance in working your way through the enrollment process? Call Pat Stiffler at Options in Insurance.