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Refunds available for health insurance fraud victims

By Mehgaan Jones

mjones@news-daily.com

Georgians, who purchased a health insurance plan from American Trade Association, Inc., or its affiliates, have until Aug. 31 to request a refund of premiums from the unauthorized insurer, according to Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

American Trade Association Inc., American Trade Association LLC, Smart Data Solutions LLC, and Serve America Assurance, sold fraudulent health insurance policies nationwide, according to a written statement issued by Oxendine's office.

"In Georgia, more than 1,600 individuals thought they were covered by the corporations," Oxendine said in the statement. "In May, the companies were ordered to shut down [their operations]," he added.

Affected consumers can find information on how to file a claim at www.americantradeliquidation.com, or by calling (800) 591-6764, or e-mailing: questions@americantradeliquidation.com.

The commissioner said Georgians should be wary when buying any kind of insurance. Oxendine offered the following tips to protect consumers from scam artists:

* Beware of door-to-door sales people. Agents cannot solicit business at your home without an appointment. Do not let uninvited agents into your home.

* Check with Oxendine's office at 1-800-656-2298 to make sure a salesperson is a licensed agent.

* Do not give out personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers to anyone you have not verified as a licensed agent.

* Verify that the plan you have chosen is backed by a licensed insurance company. You can confirm this at the number listed above. If buying an approved Medicare plan, all approved plans are available at www.medicare.gov, or by calling 1-800- MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).