California insurance commissioner: We could “have a real disaster on our hands” with identify theft, fraud, and abuse

posted at 3:31 pm on July 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

California rushed headlong into the implementation of ObamaCare, eager to be the first model state to show off the many wonderful ways in which the law was ostensibly meant to work. Much like at the national level, however, California is encountering some pretty heady problems as they, too, try to get everything organized by the October deadline by which people are supposed to be able to start signing up for the system’s proffered health insurance choices. Besides the very glaring problems of sharply higher insurance premiums and major insurers fleeing the individual insurance market for via-employer insurance only, their “Covered California” exchange’s administrators are realizing that there’s another predicament in the works. Via the AP:

As California prepares to launch its health care exchange, consumer groups are worried the uninsured could fall victim to fraud, identity theft or other crimes at the hands of some of the very people who are supposed to help them enroll.

The exchange, known as Covered California, recently adopted rules for a network of more than 21,000 enrollment counselors who will provide consumers with in-person assistance as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. In some cases, they will have access to personal and financial information, from ID cards to medical histories.

But the state insurance commissioner and anti-fraud groups say the exchange is falling short in ensuring that the people hired as counselors are adequately screened and monitored.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones also said the exchange does not have a plan for investigating any complaints that might arise once the counselors start work. That means consumers who might fall prey to bogus health care products, identity theft and other abuses will have a hard time seeking justice if unscrupulous counselors get hold of their Social Security number, bank accounts, health records or other private information, he said.

“We can have a real disaster on our hands,” Jones, a Democrat, said in an interview.

Read on for the many and delightful ways in which California is attempting to keep honest the thousands of counselors that will be attempting to enroll over 5 million residents (among them: fingerprinting, background checks, and name badges), but as Jones mentions, it isn’t nearly enough to try and protect against fraud. The state is going to need a more comprehensive plan to follow up on complaints and to work with law enforcement officials to prosecute bad counselors, because the lack thereof is hardly going to inspire confidence in consumers: “Once they’re in that position of trust, it’s possible they will obtain information that will allow them to build the trust they have with the individual they’re working with and potentially sell them all manner of bogus products, steal their identity, gain access to certain assets they might have… The list is virtually endless.” Lovely.

Anyhow, as California struggles to find ways to ensure security and accountability in their state-run system, they still seem to have plenty of time and money to spend on promoting the entire boondoggle:

Funded by $37 million in state grants, four dozen diverse groups from around California — including labor unions, civil-rights advocates, medical clinics and the Los Angeles Unified School District — are preparing to launch education programs promoting Obamacare, the national health-care plan set to take effect in January.

The 48 recipients were selected from about 200 that applied for the grants, chosen for their access and ability to reach the estimated 5.3 million Californians in underserved communities who will be eligible for the subsidized or guaranteed health coverage.

“These organizations are well-established and well- known and trusted in their communities,” said Larry Hicks, a spokesman for Covered California, the state agency established to oversee a marketplace of insurance carriers. “They’ll take a more personal approach in explaining the programs and offerings through our health-insurance exchange.”


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b…f…d…

equanimous on July 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

It was raaacist to insist that the “counselors” be subjected to criminal background checks before hiring.

Wethal on July 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

fingerprinting, background checks, and name badges

Wait, isn’t that profiling?

BacaDog on July 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Amazing that the AP would even report this story. You’d think it would only be the wonderfulness of Obamacare.

Wethal on July 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Hint, hint…National Identity card……

albill on July 14, 2013 at 3:46 PM

California insurance commissioner: We could “have a real disaster on our hands” with identify theft, fraud, and abuse

Maybe, but the grand daddy of theft, fraud and abuse is government. They just don’t like it when amateurs do that…rather like the Don having a guy whacked because he came up short delivering money from an extortion racket.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM

California insurance commissioner: We could “have a real disaster on our hands” with identify theft, fraud, and abuse.

This is what illegal aliens do. US citizens are supposed to find graft elsewhere.

Wethal on July 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Thank you Justice Roberts, you incompetent jackwad.

profitsbeard on July 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

All the left over Acorn employees and other “activists” will sign up as enrollers.

Let the voter fraud and financial abuse commence!

This is the way life is on the Democrat plantation. It’s a golden cage that eventually gets filled up with poop.

PattyJ on July 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Sign up at an exchange and take the chance of losing all you have worked for.There are people licking their chops for a job at one of those places.

docflash on July 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

LA Times, June 7, 2013

June 7: SAN JOSE – President Obama on Friday morning held up California as an example of how his healthcare law will help consumers, citing the state’s progress getting health insurers to offer better plans at affordable prices.

Ooops.

Robert_Paulson on July 14, 2013 at 4:29 PM

No s–t Sherlock.

rplat on July 14, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Where is the American Gandhi when we need him/her….? We need something more concrete than petitions, speeches and hand wrining. We need a plan for mass rejection, peaceful resistance and outright refusal of ObamaCide. We need millions of patriots declaring themselves conscientious objectors and simply refusing to comply with this unAmerican “mandate.” The plan should include these elements: refuse to give the IRS any medical information. Refuse to pay any “taxes,” penalties or fines related to Obamacare. We need a legal firm to organize this effort and we need churches to offer asylum to those who cannot go to jail. And yes, like the civil rights martyrs before us, we need thousands who are willing to face jail time. Stop pussy-footing around with petitions, studies and research, and organize some real resistance…..there are still millions willing to pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor! Join the movement and become an Obamacare conscientious objector today!

devan95 on July 14, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Why don’t they just combine Obamacare and Immigration reform and allow all the people here illegally to sign people up for Obamacare. That way they’ll get all the social security numbers they want and become legal overnight.

xdwall on July 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

This group of people supposedly signing up the poor unfortunates is the very group that the bill was written for. They are there as operatives of the progressive movement which will be totally empowered to take control of the people. Watch it and weep.

Pardonme on July 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Thank you Justice Roberts, you incompetent jackwad.

profitsbeard on July 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

It was really pure cowardice.

rrpjr on July 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

…we will all have to have a ‘required’ chip…. injected…like my cats and dog have for identity.

KOOLAID2 on July 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM

It’s a good thing we passed the law so we can know what’s in it.

bw222 on July 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM

rrpjr on July 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Hey, if the NSA had a video of you with a $25 an hour hooker, you would have voted with the liberals on the Supreme Court too.

bw222 on July 14, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Gee, how unexpected!
/s

RoadRunner on July 14, 2013 at 5:06 PM

devan95 on July 14, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Where do I sign up?

Cleombrotus on July 14, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Hey! Maybe they can sell ads on Moonbeam’s “bullet train”!

GarandFan on July 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Gee, can’t they just make them public employees and unionize them like they did with the TSA? Oh, wait…Crap.

Queen0fCups on July 14, 2013 at 5:43 PM

In a normal world, I wouldn’t laugh but this isn’t a normal world.

vityas on July 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Thank you Justice Roberts, you incompetent jackwad.

profitsbeard on July 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

It isn’t Roberts’ fault that legislators are incompetent, nor is it his job to prevent them from passing stupid laws. Don’t expect him to be a partisan hack when we fail to keep Democrats out of power.

Count to 10 on July 14, 2013 at 5:52 PM

instapundit, in summarizing a Roger Simon piece on Zimmerman, summed up Roberts very damn well

And: “Congratulations to the jury for not acceding to this tremendous pressure.” Yes, they stood up to the organized pressure better than Chief Justice Roberts.

bingo

r keller on July 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

(among them: fingerprinting, background checks, and name badges)

“Badges? We don’t need any stinking badges!”

/obligatory

BillH on July 14, 2013 at 6:32 PM

“We can have a real disaster on our hands,” Jones, a Democrat, said in an interview.

No, you WILL have a real disaster on your hands. Morons.

bingo

r keller on July 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Yep.

dogsoldier on July 14, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Heh. I can see it now.

The Anthony Soprano Health Counseling Center.

trigon on July 14, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Thank you Justice Roberts, you incompetent jackwad.

profitsbeard on July 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

It was really pure cowardice.

rrpjr on July 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

He just wants to be loved, is that so wrong?

slickwillie2001 on July 14, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Dems created this monstrosity Obamacare and who has confidence that CA dems will implement it properly? Dems don’t care what happens. All they care about is fooling people long enough to get rich and not get caught. They just want to make as much money as they can before it all comes crashing down. They don’t want to spend time doing something good for poor and middle class Californians. Never occurs to them to think that way. They’ve been raping California for decades and at the same time making it impossible to get rid of them.

Charm on July 14, 2013 at 8:47 PM

profitsbeard on July 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

It isn’t Roberts’ fault that legislators are incompetent, nor is it his job to prevent them from passing stupid laws. Don’t expect him to be a partisan hack when we fail to keep Democrats out of power.

Count to 10 on July 14, 2013 at 5:52 PM

It IS Roberts’ fault.

The “affordable healthcare act” law, if it WERE a “tax”, would THEN have to be sent back to the lower courts UNTIL the tax was enacted and someone felt it was illegal and then suit would be brought which would THEN ultimately reach the SCOTUS for a proper hearing and ruling.

Roberts aborted the process and failed to follow proper legal procedures thereby illegitimately saddling us with this federal monstrosity (along with the four progressive weasels who would rubber stamp anything Obama does).

He could have thrown it back as not rule-able by the Court at its present stage as a “tax”.

He should have been impeached for incompetence for such an irresponsible and judicially absurd ruling.

profitsbeard on July 14, 2013 at 8:48 PM

As a licensed insurance agent, I fail to understand why they are not using the EXISTING licensed Life and Health insurance producers to be the enrollers. For cripes sake, we have to pass a state test that demonstrate our knowledge and ability to best advise people on their options for Life and Health insurance. We also have to demonstrate our ability to ethically represent the best interests of the client AND protect their personal information.

Why are we wasting money on “enrollers” other than “spread the wealth around” as a slush fund. And in the future each and every premium from these exchanges has a skim off the top for these so called “enroller” groups.

Corruption on a massive scale.

karenhasfreedom on July 14, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Uh California, there is no PPACA or ARA (Obamacare) in California at this time due to non developed technology so who are you collecting money from and where is this money going. Brown?

Tangerinesong on July 14, 2013 at 10:12 PM

network of more than 21,000 enrollment counselors who will provide consumers with in-person assistance as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. In some cases, they will have access to personal and financial information, from ID cards to medical histories.

Meh. What could go wrong?

Besides, the criterion for hiring the enrollment counselors was quite strict – they had to have previously been gainfully employed by Acorn. Extra points if they wore a purple SEIU shirt to the hiring hall.

bofh on July 14, 2013 at 11:07 PM

California, going broke faster than before.

banzaibob on July 14, 2013 at 11:18 PM

John Roberts is not there for our Constitution. He has now made it clear that is there to enable Obama and his merry thugs! There are to be NO checks and balances under this regime.

mobydutch on July 14, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Yep, we are in deep doo doo.

mobydutch on July 14, 2013 at 11:47 PM

21,000 less bright and more corrupt Edward Snowdens turned loose on the state of California.

What could be the downside?

trapeze on July 15, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Uh,er, you are just getting this now???? Who elected this guy

jake49 on July 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM

So, correct me if I am wrong. The Federal Government can pretty much require us do anything it wishes (barring conflict with the rest of the Constitution) by issuing a penalty…er… a fine… er… a tax, if we don’t comply?

Tekov Yahoser on July 15, 2013 at 1:20 AM

So, correct me if I am wrong. The Federal Government can pretty much require us do anything it wishes (barring conflict with the rest of the Constitution) by issuing a penalty…er… a fine… er… a tax, if we don’t comply?

Tekov Yahoser on July 15, 2013 at 1:20 AM

Corrected as you requested…

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on July 15, 2013 at 1:44 AM

Hi, I’m Joe, and I’ll be your Obama-Care counselor and guide you through the sign-up procedures….
Oh, by the way, could I also interest you in a season-pass on the new Bullet-Train?

Another Drew on July 15, 2013 at 2:06 AM

No way around it. We’ve got to move ASAP to the single-payer, National Health Service, where all this information will be processed by trustworthy federal employees. Maybe some will transfer from the IRS to help out.

2ndMAW68 on July 15, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Since dems and libs aren’t too good at following plans to a logical conclusion, IC Jones has been told this identity theft is already happening.

Kissmygrits on July 15, 2013 at 8:16 AM