Q: Can I ask for an agent’s license number over the phone to verify before setting the appointment?
A: You certainly can ask for the agent’s license number before making an appointment to meet with that individual. At most state insurance department websites, you just need a name and you don’t need to have the license number to verify whether or not an individual is authorized to sell insurance in your state.
Q: Are there any legitimate insurance companies that offer health insurance without any medical questions being asked?
A: Because there are so many different types of health insurance, the answer may depend on the type of insurance you are considering. But with any type of insurance plan, be sure you understand when the coverage starts, what you have to do to file a claim, and what conditions, treatments or services are or are not covered. You don't want to be surprised by something in the fine print.
It's always a good idea to check with your state insurance department if you have any questions about an insurance company or policy. You can find contact information in the blue (government) pages of your phone book. You can also go to NAIC.org to find the phone numbers and website for your state insurance department.
Some private insurance companies offer coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. If you enroll in Medicare Part B, as soon as you become eligible for this coverage, you cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of your medical history. You have the right to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap plan) of your choice during the six months following your initial enrollment in Medicare Part B. After that six-month window, an insurance company can refuse you Medigap coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. Because of the new health care law, after 2014 no insurance company will be able to deny you coverage because of your prior medical history.
Q: Where can I volunteer to aid in detecting fraud?
A: You may want to volunteer with your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). SMP volunteers are trained to go out into their communities to help others spot and stop Medicare fraud. To find the closest SMP go to SHIPtalk.org or Medicare.gov.
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