Consumer experts warn that the new legislation has created an opportunity for scammers to steal your financial, personal information—and even money. Fake marketplace exchanges have already been created but security experts warn that the problem will worsen as October 1st approaches.
How to Avoid Scams
- There is no card associated with health care reform
- There is no new Medicare card and you do not have to update any personal information.
- The Health Insurance Marketplace doesn’t open until October 1, so you can’t buy coverage under the ACA until then.
- Don’t respond to a cold call of any kind, especially one that asks for personal information or money. And don’t trust your caller ID; it can be configured to look like the call is coming from a government office.
- Don’t let anyone hurry you, the rates in the exchange have been pre-approved and won’t change during the initial enrollment period, October 1st to March 31st.
The FTC’s Lois Greisman urges you to file a complaint if you spot a problem, get a suspicious call or fall victim to a health care insurance con artist.
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Fireworks on the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that two out of five fires reported that day are started by fireworks more than any other cause? The good news is you can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks by following a few simple safety tips:
- Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
- Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting fireworks.
- Always supervise children around firework display and do not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
- Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
- Wear safety glasses and have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
- Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department.
- Leave the fireworks to the professionals by attending a public fireworks display.
Did you know?
- Every Fourth of July, thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks.
- The risk of fireworks injury is highest for children ages 5–19 and adults 25–44.
- Nearly 90% of emergency room fireworks injuries involve fireworks consumers are permitted to use.
- The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to cause third-degree burns
As Storm Sandy continues to pummel the Northeast, residents in the path of the storm are urged to heed warnings from state and local officials. Earlier today, President Obama spoke from the White House Briefing Room and the White House released guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) listed below.
- Follow Directions Of Local Officials: If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Know The Forecast: Continue to monitor your NOAA Weather Radio and your local news for severe weather updates, warnings and watches. Follow your forecast at weather.gov on your computer or mobile.weather.gov on your smartphone.
- Turn Around: The potential for heavy rains can also lead to flooding, or flash flooding in some areas. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous.
- Be Prepared: Be sure to stock up on emergency supplies of batteries, candles, water and non-perishable items. Visit ready.gov for more tips
- Check On Neighbors: Make sure your neighbors, especially the elderly and infirmed, are safe and sound.
- Find Shelters: Check the Red Cross for shelters in your area.
Although Labor Day can be a fun, relaxing way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall, it can be dangerous if proper safety measures aren’t followed. Here are some tips to help you stay safe this Labor Day weekend.
- Highway Safety: More than 42,000 people are killed in automobile accidents nationwide, with the extended Labor Day weekend being one of the peak times for those deaths. Drivers should be well rested and sober. Drive defensively and wear a seat belt.
- Water Safety: Many people spend the holiday weekend around water. Divers, boaters and water skiers should forgo alcohol, wear a life jacket, pay attention to weather and wind conditions and never boat alone.
- Food Safety: Food-borne illnesses lead to many emergency-room visits because of mishandled items. Don’t leave perishables out for more than two hours. Throw away leftovers when you get home.
- Grilling Safety:Be sure to cook meat to the proper internal temperature and never mix plates or utensils between raw and cooked meats.
- Skin Safety: Always wear sunscreen. Reapply it often to avoid sunburn and the potential for skin cancer.
- Pets: Heat stroke and dehydration are two of the most common injuries when it comes to pets and warm summer weather. Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh, cool water to drink and keep them in the shade. Be sure to keep dangerous and potentially fatal foods like raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, fruit pits, macadamia nuts, coffee and alcohol out of the reach of pets.
The Fourth of July holiday, which marks our nation’s independence from Great Britain, is typically associated with fireworks, parades and backyard picnics. Below are some simple tips for staying safe while enjoying the festivities.
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool
- Actively supervise children at all times
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
- Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa
Fun In The Sun:
- Apply sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 throughout the day
- Limit the amount of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear sunglasses that will absorb UV sunlight to protect one’s eyes
- Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
- Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays
- Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles or structures
- Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks
- Always watch the barbecue grill when in use
- Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill
- Keep the grill out in the open, away from anything that could catch fire
- Never grill indoors