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You will likely recognize Central States Indemnity of Omaha’s (CSI) parent company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. It’s headed by the well-known billionaire, Warren Buffet. CSI is one of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the United States. CSI was listed in Fortune magazine’s top ten “World’s Most Admired Companies”. It ranks in the top ten list of the Fortune 500.
Central States of Omaha (CSI) was founded in 1977 originally established to offer involuntary unemployment insurance. A number of years later in 1992, the company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway and soon after began offering Medicare Supplements and life insurance.
CSI has an A.M. Best rating of “A+” (Superior) as of 6/12/15 and Berkshire Hathaway is rated AA by Standard and Poor’s. The total statutory surplus of Berkshire’s insurance businesses was over $100 billion on December 31, 2012.
In order to apply with CSI you either have to be in a Guaranteed Issue period, within the Medicare Part B open enrollment, or pass the underwriting. CSI’s medical underwriting includes height and weight within the limits, a series of health questions, prescription and over the counter medications taken in the last 12 months, random telephone interviews, and medical records on a case by case basis. The following will help you determine if you may be eligible for the CSI Medicare Supplement.
Central States of Omaha is one of the few companies that will accept a credit card payment on a monthly basis. If you choose this method of payment you will pay an additional fee of 2.4% per month over the annual rate. Unlike most companies if you want to pay monthly bank draft, quarterly or annual bill, there is no additional fee to break up the annual rate into modal premiums. The first premium is drafted or due when they issue the policy, not when they initially process the application.
A Power of Attorney is acceptable if the person applying for coverage is in their Medicare Part B open enrollment, or a Guaranteed Issue period. The only plans available for Guaranteed Issue are A, B, C or F/G. If you are in open enrollment, all of their Medicare Supplement plans are available in accordance with the state approved plans.
The health questions are YES or NO answers. You must be able to honestly answer NO to all the questions except those related to heart conditions, crippling or disabling arthritis and mental or nervous disorders. There is such a wide range of conditions and severity when it comes to these conditions that CSI will individually assess the applicant partially based on the control of the disease or disorder. They may consider control as no change in medications, treatments and no hospitalizations. Any use of a cane, walker, wheelchair or require assistance with activities of daily living including eating, bathing, dressing, housework, shopping or assistance from another person will likely not be accepted.
You can use the following as a general guide, but as always consult with your independent insurance agent to help you further assess your eligibility. You should not apply if you have/are:
• Been diagnosed with Osteoporosis and had any fractures.
• Spinal Stenosis.
• Ever been diagnosed with Cirrhosis, Hepatitis C, Parkinson’s, Systemic Lupus, Myasthenia Gravis, Multiple or Lateral Sclerosis or Kidney disease.
• COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or other chronic pulmonary disorder including Emphysema, chronic asthma, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic pulmonary fibrosis, or tuberculosis.
• Diabetes with insulin use of more than 50 units per day with more than one oral medication, and more than two medications for high blood pressure. A combination of more than two oral medications for each diabetes and high blood pressure.
• Diabetes in combination with any type of heart condition including heart rhythm disorders, valve disease, enlarged heart, coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, irregular heartbeat, congestive heart failure, stroke or TIA (mini stroke), cardiomyopathy, or any history of bypass surgery, stents, pacemaker, defibrillator or cardio-version.
• Current hospitalization or nursing home confinement or more than three hospitalizations in the last two years.
• Diagnosed or treated for internal cancer, malignant melanoma, or Crohn’s disease, alcohol or drug abuse, or advised to have a joint replacement within the last 3 years.
• Bedridden or use of a wheelchair or motorized mobility device.
• Any amputation due to a disease.
• Diagnosed with or treated for ARC or the HIV virus.
• Advised to have surgery, medical tests or treatment that has not been completed.
• Had or advised to have an organ transplant.
• Implantation of a cardiac defibrillator
• Ever used or required more than 50 units of insulin per day.
• Diabetes with neuropathy, any heart condition, peripheral vascular or kidney disease.
• Ever diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Senile Dementia or any cognitive disorder.
• Use of oxygen or nebulizer.
There are a few niches that an applicant may be approved with CSI and not some other Medicare Supplement companies so for certain people this may be the best Medicare Supplement company. If you are diabetic and taking under 50 units of insulin per day, and no more than two medications for diabetes and high blood pressure, this may be a great company for you. Remember that you still have to meet the other criteria. Many companies do not accept any insulin use.
You may also qualify for CSI when it concerns height and weight as displayed below
Do not confuse Central States Indemnity of Omaha with their sister company CSI Life insurance company. They are two completely different products but both owned by Berkshire Hathaway.