What dangers should you look out for during insurance open enrollment?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid have issued a warning about a new web site offering insurance coverage for people who have pre-existing health conditions.

The web site, preexistingconditioninsuranceplan.com, is not connected to federal Medicare programs.

Congress enacted the Affordable Healthcare Act in March 2010, which implemented the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan for consumers who do not have insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

Northeast Arkansas Center on Aging outreach specialist Cynthia Abel said consumers should take the same precautions when considering whether to submit personal information over the telephone and Internet. " Don't ever, ever give out your Medicare card number, your date of birth, any kind of bank information."

Thirteen-year Medicare client Neil Bates doesn't have safety issues with either medium. "I don't talk to people on the telephone.  If they're wanting to know a little bit about my business, they don't get to know nothing about my business."

Bates said he made an appointment with Abel because he is not familiar with the Internet. "I don't know anything about it," he said.  "If I don't understand it, I walk softly."

Consumers can protect themselves by using sites that end in .gov or asking for help from someone who is knowledgeable about the Internet.

Medicare open enrollment ends December 7.

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