Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today warned consumers about unsolicited health insurance sales robocalls, especially during this open enrollment period. Robocalls have increased significantly across the country and determining the difference between a company legally selling insurance and a scam can be challenging.
Robocall Warning Signs:
- Automated sales call from a company or organization you have not previously given consent to contact you
- Prerecorded message tells you to press “1” or some other key to be taken off a call list
- The message highlights health insurance available at a suspiciously discounted rate
What Consumers Should Know:
- Add your number to the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry; legitimate telemarketers won’t call numbers on the registry.
- Verify callers; hang up and call the business or organization directly to ask if they have contacted you for any reason
- Avoid answering calls from unknown numbers
- Don’t press any keys or say anything when prompted; alerts robocall organizations that your number is working, and this may lead to more calls
- Do not request to speak to a live operator; this can lead to an aggressive sales pitch or phishing for more personal information
- Robocalls can mask their location; phone numbers can appear to be legitimate government agencies, corporations and numbers similar to one you know
“Consumers should always be wary of unsolicited health insurance sales calls,” said Commissioner Jessica Altman. “If a consumer is contacted by an automatic robocall about buying insurance or changing a plan, and hasn’t previously listed a phone number, they should contact their agent or insurance company before making any decisions.”
With the expanded availability of non-comprehensive insurance products in the marketplace, also known as Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI), consumers need to pay very close attention to what is offered in plans they learn about from unsolicited sales calls. These plans do not have to meet the minimum requirements for comprehensive coverage under the ACA.
“If a consumer ever receives an unsolicited, suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the Insurance Department, please contact us, as well as law enforcement,” Altman said.
Consumers who have received similar suspicious calls are urged to call the Insurance Department’s consumer hotline at 1-877-881-6388. Consumers should also call the Pennsylvania Attorney General at 1-800-441-2555 and their local law enforcement.