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Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee

By   /   October 16, 2013  /   15 Comments

Part 30 of 96 in the series Obamacare
DID THEY SUPPORT THIS: While early supporters of the Affordable Care Act could not have foreseen trouble, reports of fraud already are emerging in Tennessee.

DID THEY SUPPORT THIS: While early supporters of the Affordable Care Act could not have foreseen trouble, reports of fraud already are emerging in Tennessee.

 

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog

NASHVILLE —  Scam artists have seemingly found a friend in Obamacare.

Reports are emerging that shysters are using Tennessee residents’ relative lack of knowledge about the new health care law to defraud them.

Scam artists, for example, are making calls claiming they need Social Security numbers to sign people up for a new Obamacare insurance card, according to a statement from the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

“We’ve been made aware of one scam, in particular,” said TDCI spokeswoman Kate Abernathy.

“One of our navigator agencies let us know that there was an individual calling people saying that he or she could have walked him through the application process for $100 for a navigator certified application counselor service, but that information is completely incorrect. That is a free service that is supposed to remain free.”

The federal government, along with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, began sending out advisories against possible fraud related to Obamacare many months ago, Abernathy said.

“There are scammers out there who are calling around and saying ‘All right we need your Medicare number. We need to update your profile.’ A Medicare beneficiary can hand over that information without thinking about it — and they’ve just given a criminal their Social Security number,” Abernathy said.

As previously reported, TDCI implemented registration requirements and criminal background checks on people who serve as Obamacare navigators or certified Obamacare application counselors in Tennessee.

Such people are responsible for handling the financial or medical information belonging to other individuals.

Strangely,  last month, mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post seemed to condemn Tennessee and other states for implementing these policies, saying they were getting in the way of progress.

“There is a very palpable concern . . . that anti-Obamacare state government people will find ways to gum up the works,” the Post quoted Leonardo Cuello, director of health reform for the National Health Law Program, as saying.

Last week, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against the regulations, claiming they might penalize librarians or health care workers who helped someone sign up for Obamacare.

Despite the ruling, Abernathy said anyone who handles another person’s personal financial or medical information is still subject to the regulations.

Tennesseans with concerns about their insurance plan or with concerns about possible fraud can call the Consumer Insurance Division (615) 741-2218 or 1-800-342-4029 (inside Tennessee).

Contact Christopher Butler at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org

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Part of 96 in the series Obamacare
  1. Obamacare compliance means less money for TN service agencies
  2. The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
  3. Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
  4. Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
  5. Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
  6. OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
  7. Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
  8. Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
  9. Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
  10. Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
  11. VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
  12. Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
  13. Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
  14. Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
  15. NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
  16. Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
  17. Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
  18. Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
  19. You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
  20. What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
  21. HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
  22. Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
  23. VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
  24. Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
  25. Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
  26. Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
  27. NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
  28. CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
  29. Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
  30. Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
  31. After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
  32. Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
  33. Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
  34. WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
  35. Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
  36. We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
  37. Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
  38. It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
  39. How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
  40. What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
  41. Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
  42. If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
  43. Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
  44. Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
  45. Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
  46. Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
  47. Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
  48. Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
  49. Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
  50. Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
  51. Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
  52. Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
  53. Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
  54. LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
  55. Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
  56. Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
  57. About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
  58. Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
  59. Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
  60. Obamacare moves to intensive care
  61. Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
  62. Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
  63. Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
  64. Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
  65. 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
  66. Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
  67. For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
  68. Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
  69. Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
  70. With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
  71. Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
  72. Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
  73. Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
  74. Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
  75. Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
  76. People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
  77. Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
  78. HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
  79. Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
  80. Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
  81. HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
  82. Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
  83. Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
  84. Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
  85. HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
  86. Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
  87. Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
  88. Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
  89. Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
  90. California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
  91. Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
  92. CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
  93. Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
  94. Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
  95. Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
  96. Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies

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Chris Butler is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org based in Nashville. Contact him at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org and follow him on Facebook at "Chris-Butler-WriterJournalist" or on Twitter at cdbutler1204.

  • FloridaJim

    Obamacare has no safeguards from fraud it is the 60’s radicals method of trusting everyone other than conservatives and Christian’s. They always fail and Taxpayers foot the bill. It is how voter fraud occurs or college student voting multiple times each election. We wasted several billion dollars on Obamacare not counting all the time, advertising, training , hiring and now the lawsuits over this debacle. Obama will not hold Sebelius accountable let us, please, show the country we are good citizens by holding Obama accountable for this debacle and impeach him. It is our duty as citizens. Had Obama’s mentors and family held him accountable many years a go he would have been a more truthful and a better man.

  • OldmanRick

    Anyone serious about this country needs to vote the totalitarian oriented dims out of office in 14 and 16.

  • SixSixSix

    “Reports are emerging that shysters are using Tennessee residents’ relative lack of knowledge about the new health care law to defraud them.”

    Yes, they are called the Republican Party

  • barkway

    How is this “Obamacare fraud?” This is your typical, run of the mill consumer fraud. Scammers call consumers all the time pretending to be from their bank, credit card company, utility Co, mortgage Co, online retailer and claim to need personal or financial info to resolve some problem or help with a program. Laying this at the feet of ACA registration is misleading at best, and ignorant at worst. Nothing has safeguards against those who commit consumer fraud.

  • DC Lee

    Thats not going to happen Oldman Rick. I think the Repubs will lose control of the House of Reps next election.

  • DailyKenn

    cross posting.

  • Wendy Barnes

    So if you assist someone in signing up for a new health care plan, you are held to the standard of an insurance broker or someone who is bonded or licensed by the state even if you never claimed to be? This article is very unclear on the subject. Well, I won’t be helping any neighbors with anything then. Normally I let a couple of neighbors occasionally use my computer as they do not have one. Not for this.

  • Wendy Barnes

    No, I think I hear the crash of the Republicans caving as I type.

  • KFC123

    It doesn’t really make any sense that this writer chose to point out that “Strangely” mainstream media has been condemning regulation policies as if their criticism is causing the regulation to fail. The regulation policies obviously have no effect on whether a scam artist can call random people and ask for personal information. With or without the regulation that kind of thing could still occur… No one ever said the navigators themselves were committing fraud.

    Rather, that quote meant that some anti-ACA states make it VERY difficult for their residents to gain access to the navigators or hold events that teach the public who the navigators are and what to look for. Then when “fraud” happens these states can blame the ACA itself.

    Because you know, when it comes to health care, it’s a good thing we can count on our states to facilitate the law no matter what they feel about the law…not.

  • are122

    I guess an earlier news story was right, Acorn is back. Obama’s pals trying to make a few bucks on the side.

  • are122

    That’s true. You can report zero income and it isn’t verified. Many will get free health care at the expense of honest people.

  • are122

    That’s the crash of the USD.

  • LS

    OMG………Is there really ANYONE that is breathing, not see this scamming happening???

  • FloridaJim

    Obama has tolerated, promoted and been a part of scams all his life: ACORN, rigged elections in Chicago and elsewhere, IRS scandal, NSA scandal, Benghazi scandal, GSA waste all of which Obama saw and turned his head. Obama is a fraud and a terrible President if a man can’t be truthful he is no man. AS the country tolerates Obama’s sequestration and phony debt crisis as soon as it ends the country added $350,000,000 to the debt where was this last week? Can we believe any numbers from Obama, I think not. WE went from $16.9 trillion to $17.2 trillion in one Obama day on our way to 35 trillion under him guard your retirement he needs it to survive.

  • srewyou

    “Reports are emerging that shysters are using Tennessee residents’ relative lack of knowledge about the new health care law to defraud them”
    So are you saying that people in Tennessee are not informed enough on ObamaCare, or are you saying people in Tennessee are too stupid to understand ObamaCare?
    Either way, this will happen in EVERY state for those that are gullible enough to give out their SSN’s to someone that called them. Never give out your SSN to someone that calls you. It is a lot different if you are calling for insurance, but if someone calls you and asks for your number tell them they should already have it. That has caused people to hang up on me multiple times.

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