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AARP Teams with State Agency to Inform Consumers, Fight Fraud

AARP Wyoming is helping connect consumers struggling with health, auto, homeowners and life insurance issues with the Wyoming Department of Insurance. (Pixabay)
AARP Wyoming is helping connect consumers struggling with health, auto, homeowners and life insurance issues with the Wyoming Department of Insurance. (Pixabay)
May 10, 2018

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – As people across Wyoming grapple with the latest surge of robocalls about Medicare and potential changes to the Affordable Care Act, the nation's largest advocacy group for consumers age 50 and older is teaming up with the Wyoming Department of Insurance (DOI) to dispel myths and protect against fraud.

Tom Lacock, associate state director for AARP Wyoming, says his team is deploying a range of communication tools – including social media, teletown halls and an old fashioned newsletter reaching 87,000 residents – to connect consumers with important information about their insurance options.

"What folks need to look for when they're considering insurance, as well as keeping themselves safe from fraud and scams,” Lacock explains. “This isn't necessarily steering anyone toward any particular type of insurance, it's more what you need to know before you make that buy."

Last week, more than 3,000 people attended a live conference call featuring Denise Burke, the DOI's senior health policy analyst. Burke fielded questions for nearly two hours.

Lacock says anyone can join the conversation by following AARP Wyoming on Facebook. For insurance questions, call the DOI directly at 307-777-7401.

Lacock says the collaboration kicked off after the state agency was inundated with calls from people confused about changes to the Affordable Care Act under the new tax code, as well as potential scams warning people about enrollment periods that don't exist.

He says the DOI is charged with looking out for consumers' best interests and is there to help.

"You get the robocalls talking about, you know, 'Changes are needed to your insurance,'” Lacock relates. “There's a lot of noise right now going on, especially in the world of health insurance.

“The Wyoming Department of Insurance, they're really that 'go to' that can help you kind of cut through that."

The DOI can help with discrimination, misrepresentation of policy coverage, claim delays or denials, terminated policies and more on health, homeowners, auto and life insurance.

Areas that do not fall under the agency's jurisdiction include how much individuals pay in premiums and deciding who is at fault in an accident.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY