[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
79°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 15
1987 - Incorporation: Santa Clarita officially becomes a city [story]


Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

[AG] – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the removal of ten private health insurance websites that misled Californians by imitating Covered California, the state’s official insurance marketplace for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Attorney General Harris also released tips to help consumers avoid insurance scams.

“These websites fraudulently imitated Covered California in order to lure consumers away from plans that provide the benefits of the Affordable Care Act,” Attorney General Harris said. “My office will continue to investigate and shut down these kinds of sites. I urge Californians to avoid healthcare scams by visiting coveredca.com.”

In September, the California Attorney General’s office began an investigation into websites that imitate the state’s Covered California website (www.coveredca.com). Multiple website operators were sent cease and desist letters informing them that their websites were in violation of state law and demanding the immediate removal of the website or transfer of the domain name to the state’s official exchange.

These websites were operated by private health insurance brokers or companies that were not affiliated with Covered California. The websites have domain names similar to the state’s official healthcare exchange and contain unauthorized references to the official exchange’s trademarked logo and name. In several cases, websites used the phrases “Get Covered,” “Covered California” and “California Health Benefit Advisers.”

The California Affordable Care Act forbids individuals or entities from claiming to provide services on behalf of Covered California without securing a valid agreement with the State Exchange. (Gov. Code, § 100510.) State law also prohibits solicitations that falsely imply a governmental connection (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17533.6), the use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to another entity (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17525), making or disseminating untrue or misleading representations with the intent of selling goods or services (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17500) and unfair competition through untrue or misleading advertising (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200).

To date, all website operators who have been contacted by the Attorney General’s office have complied, and the following websites have been either deactivated or redirected to the official exchange website:

www.californiabenefitexchange.com

www.californiahealthbenefitexchange.com

www.coveredcalifornia.com

www.shopinsuranceexchange.us

www.shopinsuranceservices.com

www.healthexchangeinsurance.com

www.shopforhealthcare.org

www.taxcreditinsurance.com

www.smallbusinesshealthoptionsprogram.com

www.stateexchanges.org

The California Health Benefit Exchange is charged with implementing the ACA and is the operator of California’s online health insurance marketplace known as Covered California. California consumers who purchase health insurance policies through this marketplace receive protections guaranteed by the ACA that may not exist in policies outside of the exchange.

Health insurance plans sold outside the official exchange on the individual market before January 1, 2014 do not qualify for federal subsidies and do not have the guarantees provided by the ACA’s consumer protection provisions. Major consumer protections include: no denials based on preexisting conditions; no rating differences based on factors other than age, geography, and family size; issuers may not impose any annual dollar limits for covered services; and all qualified plans must cover essential health benefits identified under the ACA.

The California Attorney General’s Health, Education and Welfare Section, in conjunction with Covered California and the California Department of Insurance, will continue to monitor these and other potentially fraudulent sites.

To avoid scams related to California’s health insurance marketplace, Attorney General Harris has released the following tips for consumers:

  • California’s only official health insurance marketplace is www.coveredca.com, which is where individuals, families and small businesses can get information, compare plans and enroll.
  • Be wary if you receive a call from a representative claiming to be a government official asking for your personal information like Social Security number or Medicare card number. You should not provide personal or financial information over the phone and should instead contact Covered California directly.
  • If you are approached by someone offering assistance from Covered California, verify that they are a Certified Enrollment Counselor by asking to see their required ID badge or by contacting Covered California directly.
  • Never pay someone for assistance with healthcare enrollment. Free enrollment assistance is available by contacting Covered California directly.
  • If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam, please report it by contacting Covered California directly or by filing a consumer complaint with the California Attorney General’s office at: http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

To contact Covered California directly, call (800) 300-1506 or email consumerprotection@covered.ca.gov

Assistance by phone is also available in the following languages:

Arabic: 800-826-6317

Armenian: 800-996-1009

Chinese: 800-300-1533

Farsi: 800-921-8879

Filipino: 800-983-8816

Hmong: 800-771-2156nie

Khmer: 800-906-8528

Korean: 800-738-9116

Lao: 800-357-7976

Russian: 800-778-7695

Spanish: 800-300-0213

Vietnamese: 800-652-9528

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Tripp Sherrod says:

    Do you want to make sure your doctor or hospital is in your network??
    It is in your absolute best interest to seek a Certified Covered California Agent to help you step by step through your application. There is a reason commissions are built into the premiums even if you do not speak with a Certified Covered California Agent, and that is because Covered California and Insurance Companies know the importance of having an expert make sure everything is done correctly. Know that there is a BIG difference between newly hired state “assistors and navigators” and a “Certified Covered California Agent”. CCCA’s do not work in state call centers and we are required to pass back ground checks and rigorous health insurance testing before becoming licensed agents.
    We have the ability to compare Covered California plans to plans on the private marketplace as well as provide consumers with post enrollment support and service for claims, billing, changes, and other services if needed. All of this for no cost.
    Take advantage of something you are already paying for if you are purchasing a health insurance plan through Covered California. Call or email me today.
    Tripp Sherrod
    Benefits Consultant
    CA Health/Life/Accident Broker | License #Ol15060
    National Insurance Broker | License #16842340
    Certified Covered California Agent | License #5000002746
    Cell (818) 426-3714
    Tel (626) 844-3300 EXT 449

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Dec 15, 2017
Elite LASD Drug Enforcement Team Disrupts Cartel Operations
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department looks back at five years of work by its Domestic Highway Enforcement Team, which has disrupted the operations of the drug cartels by confiscating millions of dollars in illegal drugs and drug money.
Friday, Dec 15, 2017
Metro Seeks 2 New Measure M Oversight Committee Members
Metro is seeking two new members to join the Measure M Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee.
Friday, Dec 15, 2017
Weekend Fire Weather Watch Called for SCV
The National Weather Service has called a Fire Weather Watch for this weekend for Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains and valleys including the Santa Clarita Valley due to gusty northeast wind and low relative humidity.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Tickets and sponsorships are now available for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's 2018 awards ceremony and installation of new officers at Tournament Players Club in Valencia on Friday night, January 26.
Jan. 26: SCV Chamber of Commerce 2018 Awards, Installation Gala
Sponsorships are now open for the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation's 2018 Economic Outlook Conference, set for Thursday, March 8, 2018 at a location to be announced shortly.
SCV 2018 Economic Outlook Conference Tickets, Sponsorships Open
SetPoint Medical, a Valencia-based biomedical company developing therapy for chronic inflammatory diseases, has received approval from the FDA to initiate a pilot trial in the U.S. for patients with drug-refractory rheumatoid arthritis.
FDA OK’s SetPoint Bioelectronic Therapy Study for Rheumatoid Arthritis
The regular Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 19 has been canceled, according to a notification from the city of Santa Clarita today.
City Cancels Dec. 19 Planning Commission Meeting
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, December 19, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 19: L.A. County Board of Supervisors Meeting
L.A. County's Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Task Force officials unveiled their final recommendations, endorsing a plan to use a voluntary system of trackable bracelets to find people prone to wandering, like those suffering from Alzheimer’s or autism.
County Task Force Calls for Tracking Bracelets to Locate Lost Individuals
The Community Development Commission of the county of Los Angeles looks back on 35 years of advancing its core program areas: affordable housing and housing, community and economic development.
County Community Development Commission Marks 35th Anniversary
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department looks back at five years of work by its Domestic Highway Enforcement Team, which has disrupted the operations of the drug cartels by confiscating millions of dollars in illegal drugs and drug money.
Elite LASD Drug Enforcement Team Disrupts Cartel Operations
Metro is seeking two new members to join the Measure M Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee.
Metro Seeks 2 New Measure M Oversight Committee Members
The National Weather Service has called a Fire Weather Watch for this weekend for Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains and valleys including the Santa Clarita Valley due to gusty northeast wind and low relative humidity.
Weekend Fire Weather Watch Called for SCV
The California Air Resources Board approved a $663 million low-carbon transportation plan Thursday to increase the use of clean cars, heavy-duty trucks, buses and freight equipment.
Air Resources Board OK’s $663 Million for Clean Vehicles
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its public safety and crime information report for Saugus (Zone 4) for December 4-10, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Petty Theft in Saugus
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed his strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s illegal attempt to suspend the 2015 Clean Water Rule for two years.
California AG, 10 Others Oppose Feds’ Suspension of Clean Water Rule
1987 - Incorporation: Santa Clarita officially becomes a city [story]
With an offense that challenged the program’s single-season goals record, The Master’s University women’s soccer team was almost almost never out of any game it played: The Mustangs were always within striking range.
Lady Mustangs Within Range of Directors’ Cup Top Spots
When Ed Jackiewicz met Tera Trujillo in spring 2015, she was studying at a desk she’d carried to the corner of the California State University, Northridge soccer field, in a “time out” of sorts, unable to practice because she’d just earned a D in an economics class.
CSUN’s “Under Armour Faculty” Promotes Academic Success in Student-Athletes
When Rafael Munoz recalls his time at the Layer 8 Computer Security Club at California State University, Northridge, he feels proud and thankful.
CSUN’s Tech Education Makes Top 10 List
The city of Santa Clarita Arts and Events division is currently seeking proposals for solo exhibits for 2018 in the gallery space at The MAIN, the City’s newest arts venue in Old Town Newhall.
City Seeking Artists for 2018 Solo Exhibits
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.---CSUN Men's Basketball returns to the road for the final time in the non-conference season this weekend.
CSUN to Face-Off Against Formal Rival Eastern Washington
Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Friday:
Dec. 15: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
This Friday and Saturday (Dec. 15-16), The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance brings their annual Winter Dance Concert to the REDCAT stage.
Dec. 15, 16: Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Concert at REDCAT
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved naming Dr. Collyn Nielsen as Chief Administrative Officer and Jan Hayes-Rennels as Director of Special Programs and Staff Development.
Hart Appoints Nielsen, Hayes-Rennels to District Office Positions
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The CSUN men's volleyball team was picked to finish third in the inaugural Big West Men's Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll announced Thursday.
Big West Pre-Season Coaches Poll Puts Matadors Volleyball at No. 3
A 44-year-old transient was arrested by SCV Sheriff's Station deputies Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly tried to pick up his 8-year-old niece from a school in Santa Clarita.
Suspect Arrested in Attempted Kidnapping
It was a night to honor exceptional mentors at California State University, Northridge, but the five recipients of the 2017 Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Awards just wanted to talk about their students.
CSUN Pays Tribute to Mentors Who Have Made a Difference
The words leapt right off the page and hung in the air, heavy, encircling the audience. Their creator stood, offering his gifts of verse — shared in a powerful baritone voice.
Literary Star Power Comes to CSUN
While critical fire conditions continue through Friday, the final numbers for the Rye Fire have been released.
Officials Release Final Numbers on Rye Fire
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board held it’s annual reorganizational meeting Wednesday night, naming Steve Sturgeon as Board President.
Steve Sturgeon Named 2018 Hart Board President
Castaic Elementary School is collecting gently used children's clothing and toys for the victims of the Creek Fire in Sylmar.
Local School Collecting Clothes, Toys for Creek Fire Victims
Gusty Santa Ana winds fanned the Thomas Fire's eastern flank Thursday, prompting officials to call for mandatory evacuations for areas near Fillmore.
Officials Issue Evacuation Orders for Fillmore Residents
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to repeal net neutrality rules instituted in 2015. These rules protect consumers' access to online content without interference or manipulation by an internet service provider:
Becerra Condemns FCC’s Net Neutrality Ruling
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement Thursday on the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting:
Feinstein Issues Statement on Five Year Anniversary of Sandy Hook
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education and its Secretary, Betsy DeVos, for refusing to process debt relief claims submitted by tens of thousands of students who took out federal student loans to attend Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Corinthian).
Becerra Lawsuit Alleges Devos, Education Department Refusing to Process Debt Relief Claims
CAL FIRE has released a statement on its Facebook page regarding the death of one of their own:
CAL FIRE Engineer Killed Battling Thomas Fire
1931 - Season's first major storm deposits 9 inches of snow in Newhall, 10 in Saugus [story]