UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About AMA Insurance
The American Medical Association was founded in New York City by Dr. Nathan Davis in 1847. The group works to advance medical science, establish and maintain medical ethics, and improve public health. They have become one of the most trusted medical groups in the world and their recommendations help to guide public health decisions.
AMA Insurance is a branch of the AMA created to help provide physicians with the insurance they need, both professionally and personally. The subsidiary does not underwrite all of the products they offer; in fact, most are part of partnerships with other insurance companies designed to provide easy access and discounted rates to doctors. These products are referred to as AMA sponsored, and include auto insurance and home insurance through Liberty Mutual and Medicare Supplement insurance underwritten by Transamerica.
AMA products are available only to physicians and their families, but AMA membership is not required to apply for coverage. Products are sold through the AMA Insurance Agency’s licensed agents.
AMA Insurance Medicare Supplement
AMA does not currently offer any Medicare coverage beyond their Supplement plans. These plans are available across the country to doctors with special discounts, and the plan options vary by state.
California is our usual sample state for comparing plans and rates, but at the time of this review, the AMA Insurance website could not provide any information for that state. To obtain some plan and rate information, we selected Illinois (where the AMA Insurance Agency is headquartered) as a sample state instead.
Our search in this state returned a solid list of plan options. AMA Insurance offers plans A, B, C, D, G, F, K, L, M, and N – that is every available plan with the exception of the high deductible version of plan F. There are more options here than we see from most insurance companies, some of which may offer only a handful of these standard plans.
Plan A is considered the base plan that covers Medicare coinsurance at 100% as well as the first three pints of blood each year. The remaining plans add varying amounts of coverage – some do not cover coinsurance amounts at 100%, but most do – up to the highest level of coverage offered by Plan F. Plan F covers all out of pocket costs, which usually makes it the most expensive option. This is the reason for the high deductible version that brings down the monthly cost of coverage, but this plan is not listed as an option.
Plans K and N are the two that do not include the same basic benefits as Plan A and all of the rest, meaning coinsurance amounts are not paid in full. These plans are often a budget option due to the differences in coverage.
Since we were unable to pull rates or information for our usual sample state, it is difficult to compare the quotes we did receive; still, these numbers provide us with some information about the pricing of plans.
Plan A came back at a monthly rate of $94.08, which is reasonable for this plan based on what we see from Supplement insurers across the country.
Plan F had a rate of $150.49, making it the most expensive plan but not by a wide margin. For the comprehensive coverage this plan offers, it is a good value compared to some of the other AMA branded options.
The AMA offers a 5% discount when you enroll a spouse at the same time, as well as 2% off if you pay your premiums using EFT.
Claims are handled through the underwriting company, Transamerica. As with most health insurance, there is not a lot of need for customer involvement in the process. Claims are generally handled directly with the provider.
Not surprisingly, there is no information regarding Medicare Supplement claims on the AMA website.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
AMA Insurance Agency, Inc. has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are a total of three customer complaints on file in the past three years. There are no customer reviews listed.
Since the Medicare Supplement plans are underwritten by Transamerica, we also took a look at their BBB file. There, we found a B rating which is reduced by the BBB due to failure to respond to two complaints and four complaints that were not resolved. The company has a total of 413 complaints on file in the past three years. To have total confidence in a company’s reputation, we would like to see fewer complaints and resolution of those complaints; even a high volume is not an issue if the company is resolving all of the issues.
Transamerica is a life insurance company primarily, and the complaints likely focus mainly on those products rather than the AMA branded Medicare Supplement. Still, a company’s overall reputation applies to every product they sell.
The Bottom Line
While AMA Insurance has a good reputation and offers good prices on coverage to those that qualify (physicians and their families), Transamerica is the underwriting company and their reputation is not as solid as we would like to see. Since it is Transamerica that would be handling the most vital part of any insurance contract – claims – we would recommend to be sure an weigh all of your options for your Medicare Supplement coverage.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.