DCBS Media Release
May 22, 2003
State looking for possible violations of Medigap insurance rights
If you think you've been illegally turned down for Medicare supplement insurance, Oregon's Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program wants to hear from you.
Both Oregon and federal laws guarantee Medicare beneficiaries the right to purchase a supplemental or Medigap policy in some situations outside of open enrollment periods. These are known as guaranteed issue rights or Medigap protections.
SHIBA, a joint federal-state program that helps Oregonians with Medicare make better health insurance decisions, is participating in a federal project to identify guaranteed issue violations by insurers. People with Medicare who believe their guaranteed issue rights have been violated are asked to contact SHIBA at (800) 722-4134 (toll-free in Oregon).
More information about Medigap protections is included in the Oregon Consumer Guide to Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans. The free booklet is available by calling SHIBA's toll-free line or on its Web site: www.oregonshiba.org.
SHIBA also has trained volunteers around the state who can help beneficiaries determine if they're eligible for benefits they aren't receiving, compare insurance policies, file claims, and make effective appeals and complaints. To find a volunteer in your area, call SHIBA's toll-free number or check its Web site.