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Health insurance scam robocalls skyrocketing in Virginia

Healthcare advocates claim the number of insurance robocalls is skyrocketing.

RICHMOND, Va. (WVEC) — Now that Medicaid is expanding to about 400,000 Virginians, healthcare advocates claim the number of insurance robocalls is skyrocketing.

Gaylene Kanoyton, founder of Celebrate Healthcare, a company that educates people on the Affordable Care Act said brokers will call unsuspecting people, selling health insurance.

“They’ll say that they’ll be in your area for a limited time, they have low insurance that will fit your budget and then they’ll name all the healthcare insurance companies that they represent,” said Kanoyton.

Kanoyton described them as scammers, whether a robocall or a live person, who will then take bank account information or credit card numbers and take people's money.

“A monthly fee is taken out of their bank account every month, and when it’s time for them to go to the doctor or time for them to go to the emergency room, heaven forbid if they have to go, they have no coverage,” said Kanoyton.

Wanda Rogers, Director of the City of Hampton Department of Human Services, said she waited a long time for Medicaid expansion because it will help about 5,800 people in Hampton.

“It means they will be able to get that routine visit with the doctor that they may have procrastinated doing in the past because there were not resources to cover it,” said Rogers.

Rogers added it’s unfortunate that scammers are taking advantage of the benefits Medicaid will extend to people who need it.

“If the information is not coming from the local department of human services, just be cautious,” warned Rogers.

Rogers and Kanoyton said legitimate agencies will never call anyone directly and if someone receives a robocall, they should hang up immediately. They added that any questions about the process should be directed to state or local human services.

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