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Scammers target Moda Health members grappling with insurer's struggles

As 67,000 Moda members await new coverage options, fraudsters want personal information.


COURTESY OF MODA HEALTH - Moda Health is warning its clients to be on the lookout for scammers trying to take advantage of the insurance company's financial situation. Moda purchased naming rights for Portland's Rose Garden Arena, home of NBA's Trail Blazers.Scammers are trying to take advantage of Moda Health members who are grappling with confusion over their future with the beleaguered health insurer.

Last week the state took partial control of the Portland-based company, saying its financial struggles put consumers at risk. In particular, the company and state officials are talking about how to move 67,000 people who purchased policies from the company since October to other insurers’ plans.

Those members’ insurance will remain in effect until arrangements are made, ensuring claims will be paid, officials say. But some member are panicking and looking around for alternatives already. Several have called state consumer advocates to report that scammers are targeting them to try to get personal information, apparently for purposes of identity theft.

“The overarching thing is don’t panic,” said Aaron Corvin, spokesman for the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “We are working on this situation… at this point people need to be aware that they are covered. They need to slow down a bit and be supercautious about calls coming into them.

Corvin said one caller used a third-party site to get information on other plans, only to get several calls from a man who warned them falsely that their deadline was that day to get new coverage.

Corvin recommends people avoid third party websites of dubious credibility and to instead go directly to carrier websites for information.

Eventually, Moda members in the individual market will be either moved to other carriers or be given a choice of other carriers to sign up with. However, details remain to be worked out, and there’s no way for people in the individual market to leave Moda for another carrier right now. That’s because open enrollment ended Jan. 31.

Moda members with questions can call DCBS consumer advocates at 1-888-877-4894. Details are also available at www.oregon.gov/DCBS/Insurance/insurers/regulation/Pages/moda-faqs.aspx


By Nick Budnick
Reporter
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