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CLAIM: Help With Insurance & Medicare

Gail Carlson, MPH Ph.D, State Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

I am on Medicare, How do I choose the best supplemental insurance policy for me?

What rules should I be aware of when choosing supplemental insurance?

What insurance can I buy to cover nursing home expenses?

How do I know if I am paying too much for my supplemental insurance?

Is there someone who can help me understand Medicare regulations and all the paperwork?

Understanding Medicare and insurance programs and completing necessary claim forms can sometimes be confusing. A program in Missouri called CLAIM - Community Leaders Assisting the Insured in Missouri - has trained volunteers to answer questions like those above. Volunteers are also prepared to provide older Missourians and their family members assistance with Medicare and Insurance claims. Some of the specific services provided by CLAIM counselors are:

  • providing comparisons of supplemental and long-term care insurance policies;
  • assisting with claims;
  • providing information about Medicare-approved coordinated care options;
  • helping clients understand Medigap insurance policies; and
  • assisting with Medicare appeals.

Volunteer counselors do not make final decisions for clients. Rather, they provide information and assistance so the client is better able to make informed decisions for themselves. All information that is shared with CLAIM counselors is confidential. Services are offered free of charge and volunteers won't try to sell anything to CLAIM clients. Volunteers can not be affiliated with an insurance company.

CLAIM is a program of the Missouri Department of Insurance. The program is funded by a grant from the Health Care Financing Administration and services are provided by the Missouri Patient Care Review Foundation. This foundation is a private, physician-sponsored, not-for-profit organization that is concerned about quality health care for those citizens enrolled in Medicare. The Foundation is responsible for insuring the quality of the Medicare program in Missouri.

The CLAIM program has 70 cosponsored sites across Missouri and can be found in each of the state's 34 senatorial districts. If you need assistance or would like more information about the CLAIM program call: 1-800-390-3330. Since this is a volunteer program, you might get an answering machine. Leave your name and number and someone will call you back.


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Last Updated 05/05/2009