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Combined Insurance, a leading provider of individual supplemental accident, disability, health, and life insurance products, and a Chubb company, is encouraging seniors to mark the 51st anniversary of this historic date by taking time out to determine if they are prepared to face an unexpected illness or injury with Medicare alone.

Medicare benefit payments totaled $632 billion in 2015, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but even with Medicare, consumers may be surprised by the bills following treatment for illness or injury.That is a reason why people approaching retirement might consider Medicare Supplement insurance. A good Medicare Supplement insurance policy can help patients cover some of the costs associated with medical treatment .  

“Before purchasing a Medicare Supplement policy consumers need to do their homework,” says Kevin Murray, Vice President of Alternative Affinity Markets at Combined Insurance. “They should check out the 2016 Medicare and You. guide published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to find the latest updates to the Medicare program, and they should research insurance companies.”

Murray says not all insurance companies are the same and there are five things that people should consider before deciding which company to use:

1) Insurance Company Ranking

Third party organizations like Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best rate insurance organizations for financial strength. These rankings are important, as those with higher scores have stronger credit worthiness than those with lower scores.

2) Knowledgeable Agents

Consider working with an agent who is knowledgeable and experienced in selling standardized Medicare Supplement plans. Medicare is a complicated topic and seniors have so many other issues to think about after retiring from a lifetime of work that working with an agent that can explain the rules and regulations of Medicare has its advantages.

3) Pre-existing conditions

All companies that sell Medicare supplement insurance cover pre-existing conditions during a consumer’s open enrollment period, which is six months from their Medicare B effective date. Some companies issue policies outside the open enrollment period with pre-existing conditions attached. Consider this when reviewing potential policies.

4) Multiple Plan Options

There are four parts to Medicare and ten standardized Medicare Supplement plans available to consumers, depending on the state in which they reside. Policyholders should find an agent that can discuss the plans their company offers in their state, and who can talk with them about what will work for their specific situation.

5) Customer’s Choice

Today’s seniors are more tech savvy and there are various ways for them to purchase insurance. It is important to find an insurance company that will work the way they want, whether it’s giving them the option to purchase online, over the phone, or face-to-face with a knowledgeable sales agent.

About Combined Insurance

Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, IL) is a leading provider of individual supplemental accident, disability, health and life insurance products and a Chubb company. With a tradition of more than 90 years of success, Combined Insurance is one of Ward’s Top 50® Performing Life-Health Insurance Companies and was named the number one Military Friendly® Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine in 2015 and 2016. Combined Insurance is committed to making the world of supplemental insurance easy to understand. For more information about Combined Insurance products, career opportunities or to contact a local sales agent, call 1-800-490-1322 or visit

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About the New Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. The company is distinguished by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength, underwriting excellence, superior claims handling expertise and local operations globally.  Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index.  Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London and other locations, and employs approximately 31,000 people worldwide. Additional information can be found at: