Tips and Warnings

Last updated: February 1, 2016

10 Guidelines To Follow:

1. Shop Carefully Before You Buy

Policies differ as to coverage and cost. Companies differ as to service.

2. Don’t Buy More Policies Than You Need

Insurance agents are prohibited from selling a second Medicare supplement policy to someone who has a Medicare supplement policy already in force. (Unless you intend to cancel the first policy after the replacement policy goes into effect.) Use caution in purchasing other types of insurance which duplicate benefits provided by Medicare and your supplemental coverage.

3. Check For Preexisting Condition Exclusions and Waiting Periods

Medicare supplement policies are required to cover preexisting conditions after the policy has been in effect for six months. Some policies may cover you sooner.

4. Beware of Replacing Existing Coverage

Make sure you have a good reason for switching from one policy to another.

  • You should only switch for different benefits, better service, or a more affordable price.

  • If you decide to replace your policy, you must be given credit for the time spent under the old policy. In other words, insurance companies must take into account the amount of time you were under your old policy when applying any preexisting condition exclusions or restrictions.

  • Companies can decline you for coverage if you have a preexisting condition and your 6-month initial open enrollment period is over.

  • You must sign a statement that indicates your intention to terminate the policy to be replaced.

  • Do not cancel the first policy until you have been accepted into the new plan and you are sure that it is what you want.

5. Despite Misleading Claims Made by Some Insurers and Agents, NO Medicare Supplement Policy Covers Every Medical Expense Not Covered by Medicare

6. Be Aware That Medicare Supplement Policies Are Not Sold or Run by Any State or Federal Government Agencies

7. Know About the Agent and Company You Are Working With

Call our Consumer Assistance Hotline at 800-432-2484 to make sure any agent or company you are considering is licensed in Kansas.

8. Take Your Time

Do not be pressured into buying a policy. Principled sales people will not rush you.

9. If You Decide to Buy, Complete the Application Carefully

It is against the law for an agent to suggest you falsify an application. Do not withhold medical information on the application for insurance. Coverage could be refused for a period of time, a claim could be denied, or your policy canceled if you leave out any of the medical information requested.

  • NEVER sign a blank application.

  • Don’t let the agent fill it out for you.

  • Reading carefully and completing the application yourself does mean you don't trust your agent. It is responsible and a good agent would expect and encourage this from you.

10. DO NOT Pay Cash

Pay by check, money order, or bank draft made payable to the insurance company. 

  • Get a receipt for your records.

This article is published on KansasMoney.gov. Find more information by contacting these state agencies: