For Your Protection

As noted above, federal criminal and civil penalties can be imposed against anyone who sells you a policy that duplicates coverage you already have unless you sign a statement declaring that the first policy will be cancelled, or unless you have Medicaid and the state Medicaid agency pays the premium for your Medigap policy. Penalties may also be imposed for claiming that a policy meets legal standards for federal certification when it does not, and for using the mail for the delivery of advertisements offering for sale a Medigap policy in a state in which it has not received state approval.

Additionally, it is illegal under federal law for an individual or company to misuse the names, letters, symbols or emblems of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, or the Health Care Financing Administration. It also is illegal to use the names. letters, symbols or emblems of their various programs.
This law is aimed primarily at mass marketers who use this information on mail solicitations to either imply or claim that the product they are selling whether it be insurance or something else—has either been endorsed or is being sold by the U.S. government. The advertising literature used by these organizations is often designed to look like it came from a government agency.

If you believe you have been the victim of any unlawful sales practices, contact your state insurance department immediately. If you believe that federal law has been violated, you may call 1-800-638-6833. In most cases, however, your state insurance department can offer the most assistance in resolving insurance related problems.


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