Health insurance scams to avoid for Nevada consumers

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Scammers are everywhere, especially when they know you’re about to spend your hard-earned dollars.

Nevadans who need health insurance can be a target, and the head of the Silver State Health Exchange has some advice in avoiding scams. Ryan High, executive director, offered some tips you might have heard before and some tips that are more specific to scams surrounding health insurance.

Scams usually have one thing in common — pressure to make a fast decision. That’s something you should never do when it comes to health insurance. Scammers might also be after your personal information.

“Nevada Health Link certified enrollment assisters will never call you unsolicited demanding information. If someone is calling you and hounding you for information claiming to be a broker, hang up immediately. This is a sign of a scammer,” High said.

And be on your guard against “discount plans.”

“If you are being marketed for a discount plan — though it is technically a legitimate option, it is not recommended as a replacement for health insurance,” High said. “These plans do not offer health insurance coverage, and are only meant to provide medical discounts, which is why your premium cost will likely be lower. People who buy into these discount plans thinking it is low-cost health insurance, could end up in a critical financial crisis if a medical situation arises.”

Consumers can avoid confusion by going straight to NevadaHealthLink.com. It’s the only place Nevada consumers can get federal financial assistance to lower the cost of monthly premiums for health insurance and ensure that their health insurance plan has the 10 essential health benefits, High said. “Any other organization claiming to do this is likely a scam or skimpy plan,” he said.

Your insurance plan should always cover:

  1. Ambulatory services and care
  2. Emergency service
  3. Hospitalization
  4. Maternity and newborn care
  5. Mental health and substance abuse
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Rehabilitation or habilitation services and devices
  8. Lab services
  9. Preventive or wellness services and chronic disease support
  10. Pediatric services, including dental and vision

For more details on these 10 essential benefits that are part of any qualified health plan through NevadaHealthLink.com, see: What are my 10 essential health benefits?

The open enrollment period runs through Jan. 15, but High recommends signing up before the end of the year to get a policy that begins coverage on Jan. 1. If you enroll from Jan. 1-15, coverage will go into effect on Feb. 1.

High, who took over as executive director at Silver State Health Exchange as enrollment skyrocketed to more than 100,000 people as 2022 began, said consumers really have to be careful before doing a search and clicking on the first thing that comes up.

“Due to large advertising spends, these companies often pop up at the top of the search results, driving customers to their site first,” High said. “We do urge consumers to be aware and double check they are going to the official NevadaHealthLink.com website during the enrollment process.”

Be sure you’re buying health insurance and not a discount plan. If all you focus on is low premiums, you might end up with a plan that’s not actually health insurance.

Silver State Health Exchange, the agency that runs NevadaHealthLink.com, reports fraudulent websites to the Nevada Department of Insurance. But consumers still have to be on their guard.

Any company, agent or exchange enrollment facilitator conducting the business of insurance in Nevada must be licensed or certified by the Nevada Division of Insurance. You can verify that an individual is certified by calling (800) 547-2927.

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