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Hamm urges consumers to be cautious as health insurance changes begin
 
BISMARCK, N.D.—North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm today urged consumers to use caution as the open enrollment period for buying health insurance under health care reform approaches. Open enrollment begins Oct. 1.
 
“Times of change often present opportunity for fraudulent activity,” Hamm said. “Consumers should be suspicious of any unsolicited calls, emails or visits.”
 
Some simple tips can help keep insurance consumers safe from a scam:
  • North Dakota will have a federally-facilitated Marketplace (formerly called an Exchange) and HealthCare.gov is the only official website for the federal Marketplace.
  • Never give your personal health or financial information to someone who calls or comes to your home uninvited, even if they say they are from the government.
  • Keep a record of the name of anyone who assists you with purchasing health insurance, including their phone number, email address and the company they work for.
  • Insurance must still be sold by licensed insurance agents. While volunteers can help consumers understand choices, they cannot sell, solicit or negotiate insurance. To find out if someone is a licensed insurance agent, visit www.nd.gov/ndins or call the Insurance Department at 1-800-247-0560.
  • Consumers still have choices both on and off the federal health insurance Marketplace. Consumers are encouraged to discuss options with their insurance agents and companies.
 
Medicare, the federal program for people over 65 and people with disabilities, is not part of health care reform. Beneficiaries do not need to take any action.
 
For consumer assistance or to report fraud, call the federal hotline at 1-800-318-2596. Small businesses can call the federal hotline at1-800-706-7893 for assistance.
 
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North Dakota Insurance Department
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
Phone 701.328.2440
Toll free 800.247.0560
Fax 701.328.4880

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