Health plan enrollment season marred by 'epidemic' of robocalls

Automated phone calls offering ACA-compliant or other health plans are on the rise, especially as the 2019 open enrollment session continues after its Nov. 1 launch, according to California Healthline.

Nomorobo, a company focusing on stopping robocalls, estimates the spam-call-blocking service tracked more than 850,000 robocalls related to health in October. That's nearly five times as many interceptions as the company made in September, according to Nomorobo founder Aaron Foss.

"It's at epidemic levels at this time of year," Mr. Foss told California Healthline. In the last week of October, Nomorobo recorded about 820 different robocall pitches for health insurance.

Rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission in 2009 largely ban these types of calls. While some of the calls, which appear to come from major health plans like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna, may be fraudulent, some offer "skimpy" plans that may not cover essential health benefits outlined under the ACA.

For example, in late August, the California Department of Insurance filed a court order against Florida-based company Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings, accusing it of using deceptive means such as robocalls to sell plans that did not comply with the ACA. Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings could face a fine of up to $10,000 per violation, according to the report.

To view the full California Healthline article, click here.

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