Texas Medicare Supplements: How to Shop for a Policy
Written by David Hecker

The best time to buy a Medicare supplement policy is during your Medicare open enrollment period because
companies must sell you any plan they offer without considering your medical history or pre-existing conditions.
Don't be afraid to shop around. Supplement policies are standardized by the federal government.  Each
standardized Medigap policy must offer the same basic benefits no matter which insurance company sells it.  
Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with the same letter sold by different
insurance companies.

While price is important, it should not be your only consideration. Especially in today's economic environment,
you should check the company's financial strength. Find out the financial rating of the insurance company by
companies such as A.M. Best. Customer service is another area to investigate. Call your state's Insurance
Department to find the number of complaints filed against the company. Your family and friends, as well as a
trusted "independent" insurance agent, can be other sources of information about a company's customer
service.

You only need one Medicare supplement policy. It is illegal to sell you more than one Supplement policy. There
are other policies that may offer benefits that may overlap your supplemental coverage. These include cancer,
hospital indemnity, and long-term care policies. If there is any duplication of benefits, it must be disclosed
writing.

Protect Yourself. Don't let an agent rush you. Take your time and understand what you are getting. Find an
agent that you can trust, preferably somebody who specializes in Medicare products, and can answer all your
questions. Make sure that the agent is properly licensed by your state's insurance department. Don't be afraid
to take notes when the agent is talking. You can even have a trusted friend or relative present. When filling out
the application, answer all of the questions truthfully and accurately. Falsifying information could cause denial
of claims or cancellation of the policy. It is very important that you read what you are signing before you sign it.
Never sign a blank application form. Do not make a check payable to the agent, only the insurance company,
and make sure you get a receipt. Make sure that you get the agents name, address and phone number so you
can contact him if you need to. When you get your policy, read it carefully and make sure that all the
information is correct. You can return a policy for any reason and receive a full refund within 30 days.

To sum up, when shopping for a Medicare supplement, do your research on the company and the agent. Read
everything carefully and do not get pressured into making a quick decision. Make sure that you understand
everything, and that you have an agent willing to help!

David Hecker is a Licensed Insurance Agent based in Texas. He specializes in Medicare Products. He is
licensed in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. He can be reached at (903) 918-9091 or Toll Free (877)
454-4959. E-mail:
dhecker@tx-medicaresupplement.com or on the web at:
http://www.tx-medicaresupplement.com
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Texas Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Specialist, Insurance  Medicare Services, Longview, TX
Texas Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Specialist, Insurance  Medicare Services, Longview, TX