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Attorney general warns of scams surrounding Obamacare

By Gary Lloyd

As part of a program to periodically offer consumer awareness notices, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange last week issued a consumer alert warning of fraudulent attempts to steal identification information after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The alert provides details of how consumers may protect themselves and how to safely access legitimate information about health care and insurance programs.

“As Attorney General, I am committed to protecting the people of Alabama from scams and fraud,” Strange said in a statement. “One of our most effective weapons is to stop these crimes before they happen, through consumer education and prevention. My Consumer Protection Section handles complaints and inquiries from the public about numerous issues, and works hard to help them resolve their problems. In doing so, we develop many good tips and information that we want to share so that consumers may be informed and implement good practices for their protection.”

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange
photo courtesy of the Office of the Attorney General

Strange tells consumers that the only two ways to sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act is through its website, www.healthcare.gov, or by calling 1-800-318-2596. Consumers should not use any other website or hotline, should not give out any personal information to anyone who contacts them and should not pay anyone to help them.

The only approved insurance providers for Alabama through online federal marketplaces are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and Humana. Other insurance policies that meet minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act may be offered online by private insurance companies. Consumers may verify legitimate insurance carriers by contacting the Alabama Department of Insurance.

Suspicious websites or people claiming to be with the Affordable Care Act can be reported to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section by visiting www.ago.alabama.gov or by calling its toll free hotline at 1-800-392-5658.

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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