Madison, Wis. – Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable and Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection Interim Secretary Randy Romanski are warning Wisconsin consumers to watch out for robocalls during open enrollment on the federal health exchange, which ends December 15. Wisconsinites can enroll in an individual health insurance plan now through December 15 and are encouraged to work with a licensed insurance agent or an enrollment assister by calling 2-1-1 or visiting GetCovered.WI.gov.
“Your personal information is valuable,” said Insurance Commissioner Afable. “There are bad actors out there trying to get your income information, social security number, and other details that could make you vulnerable to identity theft. It’s important to work with a licensed expert like an insurance agent or a navigator to find the best health insurance option for you during open enrollment. You can call 2-1-1 to find help in your community.”
“If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it is a robocall,” said DATCP Interim Secretary Romanski. “We’ve all gotten these calls in the past. They are annoying and dangerous because the folks on the other end of the line are often trying to sell you something that isn’t right for you or may be trying to steal your personal information. The best thing to do is hang up and report the call to DATCP at datcp.wisconsin.gov.”
Consumer advocates like Covering Wisconsin are encouraging Wisconsinites to be wary of robocalls or sales calls from individuals offering to sell health insurance over the phone. Before buying health insurance over the phone, consumers should ask callers the following questions:
- Are you a Wisconsin-licensed health insurance agent or broker? If so, what is your producer number?
- Are you a Wisconsin-licensed navigator or certified application counselor?
- Are you offering ACA-compliant qualified health plans?
- Am I eligible for a discount or reduced premium based upon my income on the Exchange?
- Am I eligible for Medicaid or BadgerCare?
- Are you showing me all of the insurance options available?
- Are you charging me a fee? Signing up for health insurance should be free.
Wisconsin residents can get free expert help enrolling in health insurance during the open enrollment period, which ends December 15, by calling 2-1-1 or by visiting www.GetCovered.WI.gov.
Finally, remember to think twice before trusting your caller ID. Scammers can “spoof” phone numbers so they appear to be from a government agency. Consumers who receive a robocall or a spoofed call can file a complaint with DATCP Consumer Protection at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/