Protect Yourself

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Some May Try to Take Advantage of Those with Questions

About half of all Americans surveyed say they do not understand how the health care reform law will affect their families, according to an August poll from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The complexity of the law attracts those who want to prey on vulnerable individuals so the federal government is encouraging you to be prepared to protect yourself and your family.  

About 51 percent of Americans polled have been saying since 2010 that they do not have enough information about the law. In fact, according to the Kaiser poll, 4 out of 10 people say they are unsure if health care reform is still the law with 8 percent thinking the law has been repealed, 5 percent thinking the Supreme Court has overturned the law and 31 percent are uncertain whether it is still the law.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health policy analysis group, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries, released results of its monthly health tracking tool on Aug. 28.

The survey also found that 1 in 10 Americans said they had been “personally contacted by someone about the health care law through a phone call, email, text message or door-to-door visit.”

Beginning Oct. 1, online marketplaces will allow individuals, families and small businesses to purchase private health insurance that would be effective Jan. 1. Individuals, including those with access to affordable employer-provided health care plans like Lockheed Martin’s, can choose to purchase insurance through Health Insurance Marketplaces available in their area.  

If you choose to purchase health insurance other than from Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin will not make any contribution to your premium or out-of-pocket cost.  All health care costs will be your responsibility and you should consider all information available before making any decisions on coverage.   

All Americans will be required to have health insurance on Jan. 1 or pay a penalty tax.

Consumer Reports in August urged consumers to “watch out for health reform insurance scams,” reminding consumers that “offers to enroll you in [a] new health insurance ‘marketplace’ before Oct. 1 are bogus.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported scams in which a person is called and told the government wants to send out national medical cards for the new Affordable Care Act – more commonly known as health care reform.

Kaiser reported a scam in which seniors are called about being sent a new Medicare card, and asked to verify their phone number and address, then asked for bank account routing numbers.

In all cases the scammer tries to get the person to give up money, personal information or both.

Below are five tips the FTC has provided to help you protect yourself and family from these types of scams:

  • If you receive a call similar to the examples above: Hang up.
  • Government and legitimate organizations you conduct business with have information they need and will never ask you for it.
  • Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or online to the FTC.
  • Try to provide information such as the phone number from your caller ID or the name or location of the caller.
  • When in doubt, never give personal information to someone who calls you on the phone.

You can learn more about health care reform through our FAQs.

Find out more about health care reform through www.HealthCare.gov.