Blocking Robocalls On Landline
Dealing with robocalls if your home phone is a regular landline is a bit complex, but not impossible. Lack of Internet and software limitations rule out any apps, but there are still some options you can try.
- Install a call blocking-device. A call blocker is a small plastic box that you attach to your phone. These devices use the blacklist/whitelist system, allowing you to add numbers to either one. Blacklisted calls can then be sent straight to voicemail or stopped entirely
- If you use voicemail, make sure to password-protect it. A scammer can get to your voicemail account by spoofing your phone number
- Contact your phone company and ask about call blocking services. Providers usually offer some call blocking features, and most of them are free
How To File A Consumer Complaint About Health Insurance Robocalls:
Contact your states insurance department. Use this interactive map to find your state agency.
Contact the FTCs consumer complaint website.
Contact the Federal Communications Commissions consumer complaint website.
Remember: Your robocaller may sound friendly, but she is not your friend. You shouldnt trust folks who call you out of the blue, according to the Department of Insurances Rocco. Someone selling a comprehensive medical plan is not going to be reaching you via a robocall, Rocco said.
Most of whats sold through these automated calls are skinny plans that dont comply with Affordable Care Act requirements or are short-term insurance plans, which typically offer coverage for only a few months and often dont cover preexisting conditions or prescription drugs. Such plans have been outlawed in California, starting Jan. 1.
Despite state and federal crackdowns some involving multimillion-dollar fines robocalls arent going away anytime soon. So the best thing for consumers to do when they receive one is to just hang up or not respond to unfamiliar numbers, advises the FCC.
Instead, check out the federal Obamacare exchange at healthcare.gov or find your states marketplace.
Barbara Feder Ostrov is a senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent publication of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
How To Get Health Coverage
You can get health care coverage through:
- A group coverage plan at your job or your spouse or partner’s job
- Your parents’ insurance plan, if you are under age 26
- A plan you purchase on your own directly from a health insurance company or through the Health Insurance Marketplace
- Government programs such as
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The Office of Management and Budget Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, allows federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies to improve the delivery of services.
When you visit a website, its server may generate a piece of text known as a “cookie” to place on your device. The cookie, which is unique to your browser, allows the server to “remember” specific information about your visit while you are connected. The cookie makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of web pages. Information that you enter into the application is not associated with cookies on HealthCare.gov. Depending on the third-party tools business practices, privacy policies, terms of service, and/or the privacy settings you selected, information you have provided to third parties could be used to identify you when you visit HealthCare.gov. These third parties do not/will not share your identity with CMS or Department of Health and Human Services.
There are two types of cookies, single session , and multi-session . Single session cookies last only as long as your web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the session cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your device for longer periods. Both types of cookies create an ID that is unique to your device.
CMS also uses the following technologies on HealthCare.gov:
Protect Yourself From Telephone Scams
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a telephone scam:
Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. You may register online or by calling . If you still receive telemarketing calls after registering, theres a good chance that the calls are scams.
Be wary of callers claiming that youve won a prize or vacation package.
Hang up on suspicious phone calls.
Be cautious of caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number that shows up on your caller ID screen. This is called spoofing.
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When You Can Get Individual Health Insurance
Each fall features the Affordable Care Acts Open Enrollment Period, where U.S. citizens can enroll in new health plans.1
Special Enrollment Periods are also available throughout the year for people who experience qualifying life events and find themselves in need of health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment Period. These qualifying life events include:2
- Getting married or divorced
- Having a baby or adopting a child
- Losing health coverage
- Becoming a U.S. citizen
Federal and state administrations can also issue Special Enrollment Periods that waive the qualifying life event requirement. For example, a Special Enrollment Period was declared in 2021 for anyone without insurance from February 15 to May 15 for people who use the federal ACA exchange.3 Following that announcement, Californias state exchange issued a similar Special Enrollment Period from February 1 to May 15, 2021.4
For information on when states offer enrollment, check out HealthMarkets guide to Open Enrollment dates.
The Best Ways To Block Robocalls
Unwanted calls declined further in August as carriers roll out blocking technology
The pandemic has had an impact on a great many things in the past year, including the volume of robocalls. Believe it or not, theyre actually on the decline, helped by the effects of COVID-19 shutdowns, new call-filtering technology, and recent efforts to promote the implementation of that technology.
But consumers can still take extra steps to make sure theyre getting as few unwanted calls as possible.
In August the number of robocalls received in the U.S. dropped by 4.4 percent from the previous month, according to the blocking and tracking service YouMail. And yet, on average this year, U.S. consumers have received 4.3 billion unwanted calls a month.
“Weve now seen the second straight month with a decline in robocalls since the STIR/SHAKEN rollout on June 30th,” says YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. “However, the volume of calls is still within the general range its been at all year, so illegal robocallers clearly havent given up in their attempts to reach consumers.”
STIR/SHAKEN technology is designed to identify spoofed calls, which use a fake number to trick you into answering your phone.
While the industry and government continue working to solve the robocall problem, here are some things you can do to block robocalls yourself.
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How To Stop Robocalls On Iphone
For those wondering how to block spam calls on iPhone, iOS devices enable you to prevent specific numbers from contacting you, or, if you prefer, you can forward all calls from unfamiliar contacts directly to voicemail.
To block a number on your iPhone:
To make yourself unavailable to all numbers which are not on your Contacts list:
Ways To Get Individual Health Insurance
Its important to learn about all of your options on how to get health insuranceas well as the details of what different types of plans can offer. If you’re trying to learn about how to get Medicare, check out our information on Medicare Eligibility.
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Consider The Total Cost
As youre comparing the cost of insurance, dont stop at the monthly premium. To get an apples-to-apples comparison, pay attention to copays, deductibles and coinsurance. Can you afford to pay a bigger share of a major medical emergency if you choose a more affordable premium?
Also, be mindful of what kind of care you can get in-network. If you live in an urban center with lots of health care providers, a plan that only covers care in-network may suffice. But in sparsely populated areas, an in-network plan may leave you without many choices for medical care.
How To Report A Medicare Call
You can report a fraudulent call from someone claiming they worked for Medicare by going to the FTC Complaint Assistant.
You can help protect yourself from fraudulent activities by never offering credit card or personal information to anyone. The more hands-on your personal information, the more likely you are to receive scam calls.
Many times, when you sign up for new websites, apps, or services, youre sharing personal information. Read the fine print when enrolling in services, some sites sell your phone number and email. Under no circumstances should you be giving out your personal or credit card information over the phone, especially when youre unsure of the person on the other end of the line.
Although it is daunting, looking at the privacy policies before you share your personal information can save you in the long run. Some websites sell your email address and phone number to third parties, so be careful!
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Dont Be Fooled By Discount Health Plans Or Cards
Dont buy a discount health plan or card as an alternative to health insurance. Discount health plans may allow you to save money on some medical expenses, but they cannot pay toward your more expensive medical claims. These plans may look like cheap health insurance, but they are not health insurance and do not meet the Massachusetts standards or individual mandate requirement for health care coverage
Discount health plans and cards are not regulated by Massachusetts or federal law. Check with your doctor or local pharmacist to ask whether you will receive any real savings before you give your money or your personal information to anyone offering health care discounts.
The New Plan Is Not A Silver Bullet
Some businesses legitimately use caller ID to show their switchboard number or toll-free number, rather than a specific department or extension.
Scammers exploit that by creating a spoof ID that looks as if it is coming from a police station or another neighborhood source.
The Stir/Shaken technology targets that manipulation. The carrier uses it to create a digital signature that authenticates the numbers path from start to finish, said Jim McEachern, the principal technologist for Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, which focuses on industry problems.
At the end they can say Ah, this call is actually from this number, he said. There is end-to-end verification, which gives you insight into the caller and how legitimate they are.
The key thing here is it was never intended to be a silver bullet, he said, speaking of the F.C.C.s new push with Stir/Shaken. It was intended to be a tool to help.
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Beware Of Health Plan Promises That Seem Too Good To Be True
Unlicensed health insurance companies may target you online or over the phone. Dont be fooled by health plans that sound too good to be true or that advertise a limited-time offer. Never respond to an unsolicited text message, fax, or phone call requesting personal or financial information.
Recognize the warning signs of a scam, including:
- Advertising that does not give the specific name and address of the insurance company offering the health plan
- High-pressure sales tactics that tell you a low monthly price is a limited time offer and will expire soon
- Telephone marketers who ask for your personal financial information in order to enroll you immediately
- Companies that wont provide any written information about the health plan unless you pay first
What Are Health Insurance Spam Calls
Health insurance spam calls are just what they sound like: calls made by scam artists attempting to persuade consumers into paying for expensive health insurance that either offers few benefits, or doesnt even exist. Even when the company calling is legitimate and the health insurance is real, these calls may be against the law if you did not give your prior express to the caller to be contacted.
Health insurance spam calls began to surge in October 2019. In that month alone, approximately 288 million robocalls regarding health insurance offers were made to consumers in the U.S. That month was a record-breaking month for scam calls, with around 5.7 billion robocalls received by consumers across the nation.
There are many types of health insurance scam calls. These callers may attempt to charge you a fee in exchange for their help navigating the health insurance marketplace. Other callers may tell you that you need a new insurance card, and must pay a fee to receive it or risk losing your health coverage. Although the fees that they quote may seem small, their real goal may be to gain access to your credit card number or bank account information.
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After New Legislation Bogus Policies Sold Door
Health insurance scam artists rolled into action as soon as the new US medical cover legislation was signed into law.
Selling bogus health insurance plans and gathering personal information for non-existent health ID cards, the crooks have netted millions of dollars across the US.
We have the latest information on the scams, plus advice from insurance industry experts on how to spot them.
Let’s check out today’s…
Health Insurance Quotes Without Phone Calls
Getting health insurance quotes without giving your phone number is easy and something you should do right now. Health insurance quotes require at least some personal facts specific to the person seeking coverage in order to be accurate.
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The Worst Types Of Spam
There arenât any options available to completely get rid of scam calls, mostly because of the way they operate. Foss said while most of the spam calls you get come from single landline phone, illegal scam callers purchase a specific number and manipulate the caller ID to show a different set of numbers.
You’ve probably received a scam call from a number in your area code, or from a number similar to your own. This is called neighbor spoofing.
âA scammer could be calling someone using my number as the caller ID right now,â said Foss. âIn fact, Iâve had random people text me asking me why Iâm calling them, when really itâs a scammer on another line.â
Foss estimates thereâs around 75,000 active robocall numbers. That number is always changing. Scammers constantly switch digits to avoid detection.
Why Is Medicare Calling Me
Medicare will never call you! Medicare may need information from you or may need to reach you but, theyll NEVER call. Youll get a letter that will notify you of the necessary information that Medicare needs. Long story short, if the calls youre receiving claim to be from Medicare, its a spam call.
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Information Which Is Automatically Collected:
When you browse
Certain information about your visit can be collected when you browse websites. When you browse HealthCare.gov, we, and in some cases our third-party service providers, can collect the following types of information about your visit, including:
- Domain from which you accessed the Internet
- IP address
- Approximate geographic location based on the IP address of the users local system
- Operating system for the device that you are using and information about the browser you used when visiting the site
- Date and time of your visit
- Pages you visited
We use this information to measure the number of visitors to our site and its various sections, to help make our site more useful to visitors, and to improve our public education and outreach through digital advertising. Also, this information is sometimes used to personalize the content we show to you on third-party sites. For more information on our practices, see the How CMS uses third-party websites and applications with HealthCare.gov section of this notice.
Blocking And Labeling Resources
Contact your phone company to learn more about the blocking and labeling solutions that may be available to protect you from unwanted and illegal calls. There may also be apps you can download for your mobile device at little or no cost to block or label potential spam calls. In addition to call-blocking and labeling services, you should also check with your wireless device manufacturer about built-in features you can use to block unwanted calls from specific numbers using your cell phone’s settings.
The resources listed below* provide information on many of the call blocking and labeling tools currently available to consumers.
- TNS Call Guardian: Call analytics solutions for businesses.
- YouMail: Tools and services for individuals and businesses.
Wireless Device Solutions
- Apple iPhones have an opt-in Silence Unknown Callers call-screening and blocking feature.
- Pixel phones have a Call Screen call-screening and blocking feature Google offers several free, opt-in, call-blocking tool apps for Android phones and users can use a call management tool to block unwanted calls.
- Samsung partners with Hiya to offer a call-blocking solution called Smart Call to label potentially unwanted calls.
Trade Association Consumer Resources and Information
- CTIA: Consumer resources for stopping robocalls.
- US Telecom: Consumer information on illegal robocalls.
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