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Advocates warn of Affordable Care Act scams

State setting up regional enrollment networks of certified people to help

MADISON, Wis. - A warning for those looking to sign up for health insurance under the new federal exchanges starting Oct. 1 -- don't be fooled by scam artists who say they want to help you out.

The state will be telling 92,000 people they are no longer eligible for BadgerCare and will need to sign up for health insurance under the new federal exchanges starting Monday of next week. Those 92,000 people, along with thousands of others without health insurance needing to sign up, will be looking for help soon, and some say that situation is a great setup for scammers.

The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin said the Federal Trade Commission has already gotten more than 100 complaints across the country from people getting calls offering "help" signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act by asking for sensitive information. The BBB said the government won't call people at home.

"The best way to know that you're dealing with the person you want to deal with is for you to reach out and make the connection," said Kimberly Hazen with the BBB of Wisconsin.

The state is working to set up regional enrollment networks of people certified to help.

"We have been trying to pull together community partners, health care providers and anyone who has an interest and works with folks who are going to have questions about health insurance," said Claire Smith with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Our Call for Action volunteers have also been getting training from DHS, Consumer Protection and others so they are prepared to help you.

"If someone calls CFA and just needs help and doesn't know what to do, like whether they're eligible for BadgerCare Plus or the marketplace, we're getting them the basic information so that the volunteers can help refer them to the right place," said Smith.

In Dane County, officials with the county health department, as well as Access Community Health Centers plan to become "certified application counselors" who will be in local libraries and job centers to help people through this process. Definite schedules are still in the works and we're not sure how many of those counselors will be available.

Advocates warn of Affordable Care Act scams

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