|By Sanford J. Schmidt, The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"The open enrollment period started on
Chapman said he was a
"It's a nightmare," he said, although he insisted that most insurance agents and brokers are honest.
"I know of several victims in the
He said he and his company held a seminar recently in which he was approached by a woman who had bought a policy from a salesman who knocked on her door. She thought she had purchased medical insurance but had purchased a life insurance policy, instead, he said.
Agents, by federal law, cannot go door-to-door or call at home unless the potential customer has given them permission to do so, according to the website www.medicarerights.org.
Sales people may not claim to be "
Chapman recommends dealing with agents or brokers with whom you are familiar. It would be wise to contact a local office that has been in business for a long time, he said.
He said he expects to be swamped with calls as the
Chapman also cited a case in which a woman who had
She may not have needed the extra coverage.
Chapman said to be wary of any sales person who asks you to write a check to an agent. The dishonest "agent" could simply take the check, cash it and leave town, similar to the home repair fraud schemes that come around in warm weather.
The purchaser should receive a medical care identification card within a week or two of payment, he said.
Chapman also advised people to shop around for their supplemental coverage.
Some polices providing "Plan F" coverage, which Chapman calls "the Cadillac" of medical coverage, cost
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