September 30, 2013
Missouri Department of Insurance urges consumers to be wary of scams
Con artists could try to deceive consumers to obtain personal information
Jefferson City, Mo. - Before sharing any personal or medical information while discussing enrollment in health insurance plans, Missourians should first make sure they are dealing with a licensed insurance agent (producer) or navigator.
State law requires both insurance agents and navigators to be licensed by the Missouri Department of Insurance.
The department encourages consumers to only provide personal information when they initiate the contact. Be careful when giving out personal information such as medical, credit card, banking or Social Security numbers.
Navigators are licensed to provide fair and impartial information and services about eligibility, enrollment and program specifications of any health benefit exchange operating in this state, including information about the cost of coverage, advance payment of premium tax credits, and cost sharing reductions.
The department also reminds consumers that the annual Medicare open enrollment period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Medicare plans are not sold on the new federal health insurance marketplace (exchange).
Navigators can provide services to consumers free of charge. To verify the licensure of a specific insurance agent or navigator, visit http://insurance.mo.gov/otherlicensees/navigators.php or call 573-751-3518.
About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration
The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.