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Healthcare Officials Warn Exchange Enrollees Of Possible Scams

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 03 Oct 2013 06:39am | comments

It's day three of enrollment in the new health insurance exchange in Mississippi. The roll out is marked by a troubled web site and warnings of scams but also some good news for the state.

 Heavy traffic continues to bog down the web site for the new health insurance exchange that roughly 275,000 Mississippians are eligible to purchase health insurance through.

 The roll out of the massive new program is also bringing with it warnings about potential scams.

 Jan Schafer, spokeswoman for Attorney General Jim Hood, says scammers might try to take advantage of a lack of knowledge about the insurance exchange.

 "Definitely be aware of anyone who tries to call you and solicit enrollment plans. The federal government is not going to do that. Anyone who claims they are with the government and they need to verify your personal information and they maybe ask for information such as you social security number or your bank account be very wary of that. Do not give it out," Schafer said.

 The exchange will offer federally subsidized private health insurance plans for uninsured Mississippians.

 The Mississippi Center For Justice is one of the legitimate groups in the state doing exchange outreach, and president Martha Bergmark says making sure Mississippians get correct information is vital.

 "Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians stand to benefit greatly from the Affordable Care Act provisions. We are eager to get that message out and help people understand what their rights and opportunities are," Bergmark said.

 In addition to the individual insurance exchange opening, Mississippi has received approval to open an exchange specifically for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

 Prior to the announcement, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney told MPB news that a state run small business exchange is the best option for Mississippi.

 

"It has nothing to do with subsidies. It is a free market exchange. That is what Governor Barbour and I set out to do in 2008. That is what we were trying to do. Former Governor Haley Barbour and I had talked about the fact that we needed a free market approach to try and handle health insurance in the state of Mississippi. And that is where we are still headed back to full circle," Chaney said.

 Mississippi's individual exchange is run by the federal government because of opposition by Governor Phil Bryant.

 Bryant maintains his resistance claiming the health care reform law will prove too expensive.

 Enrollment small business exchange is expected to open in January.

 

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