Consumers need to know who is helping them sign up for health care

Agencies warn no one should have to pay for help to get their health care, scams circulating already


The new Health Insurance Marketplace will be up and running on October 1 for people to check out and sign up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Consumers will be able to compare the plans and prices from companies providing plans in Michigan.

In every state, people are being trained and certified to help people understand their options in the online marketplace.   They will be referred to as Navigators, Application Assisters, Certified Application Counselors and Government Agencies.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, four groups have been awarded grants to provide assistance in Michigan.   They are the agencies Michigan residents should contact for assistance.

Michigan Consumers for Healthcare
(517) 512-3141

American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeast Michigan, Inc.
(313) 846-3718

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services

Community Bridges Management Inc.

Community Bridges serves Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Genesee counties.

Insurance agents and brokers can also help consumers.

You can also see who is available to help at Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov

Michigan Consumers for Healthcare told Local 4 consumers should only work with agencies certified and trained to assist them in navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace.    The agency said consumers should not be solicited by an agency who is certified to help and to beware of anyone who calls asking for personal information, knocks on the door doing the same or anyone who offers to help in exchange for payment.   These can be scam artists.  No one should have to pay for assistance.

Special Section: Health Care Reform