ACTION 9: Officials warn of healthcare scams

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Citizens can now start taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Today is the first day to enroll in about 50 health insurance plans offered in North Carolina.

Enrolling can be complicated and intimidating. That's why groups like Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont offer help.

However, it opens the door for scammers.

Some states are already seeing people offering help who turn out to be frauds.

State Attorney General Roy Cooper warns consumers about con artists.

"This seems to be a prime time for scam artists to come in and rip people off," Cooper said.

Some scammers could say they are with the government or a private insurance company and ask for personal information, pressuring the individual to sign up for something.

They may even know some basic details and seem very credible, but Cooper said real officials won't reach out directly.

Scammers in other states are telling consumers they are losing Medicare coverage, needing to sign up for a specific plan or telling them they can get special discounts on products.

Official helpers, known as navigators, will be at places like churches, community centers, libraries and schools to work with the public.

In North Carolina, consumers can choose from as many as 51 plans handled by two companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Coventry Health Care.

Call 855-733-3711 for more information.