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Central States Indemnity (CSI) Medicare Review

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Midwestern insurance company Central States Indemnity (CSI) is based out of Omaha, Nebraska and is licensed in all states except New York. They offer several products but focus on Medicare Supplement insurance.

About Central States Indemnity

Central States Health & Life Co. of Omaha was founded in 1932 in its namesake city. In 1971 Central States Indemnity was created for the purpose of providing involuntary unemployment insurance and casualty insurance products. The company has a subsidiary, Central States Life Insurance, that handles life insurance policies as well as underwriting other products in some states. In 1992 the company was acquired by insurance giant Berkshire Hathaway, and it now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary.

The company headquarters is still in Omaha, although they serve customers across the country. Products are sold through independent insurance agents.

While the website states they offer a range of specialty insurance products, the only products specifically named is Medicare Supplement. Policies may be underwritten by either of the CSI insurance companies.

Central States Indemnity Medicare Supplement

The CSI website is limited in terms of product information. Although Medicare Supplement is the only product listed or described, there is still very little to detail regarding their policies.

Although CSI is licensed in all states except New York, that does not mean they sell Medicare Supplement in all of those places. They list a dozen states where no coverage is available: AK, CA, CT, DE, HI, MA, MN, MO, NY, RI, VT and WA.

A list of policy options is not offered for any state, but we were able to access which policies are offered by running an online quote. For the purpose of this review, we used the company’s headquarters zip code in Omaha to obtain quotes and thus a list of policies available – rates will be discussed in the next section.

According to our quote, policies offered in Nebraska are Plans A, F, G, and N. Plan A is the base plan, and all insurance companies that write Medicare Supplement are required to offer it. This plan pays for all Part A & B coinsurance amounts as well as the first three pints of blood each year.

Plan F is the highest level of coverage, paying all out of pocket costs including deductibles, coinsurance, and even emergency medical during foreign travel. The other two plans land in between in terms of what they cover.

Rates

CSI uses a third-party system to offer online quotes for Medicare Supplement. Our rate quote for a 65-year-old non-smoking female in Omaha returned prices for the four options listed above.

Plan A came back at a rate of $116.33 a month and Plan F at $176.50. Plan N was the least expensive option at $97.08 a month. The final rate for Plan G was $123.33 a month.

Because these rates are specific to Omaha, and coverage is not available in California where we usually sample, we are unable to compare them in terms of value.

Claims

CSI offers a toll-free number for Medicare Supplement questions and claims. The status of claims can be found by logging into a member account.

Like most Medicare Supplement insurers, claims are generally handled directly with providers – in fact, it is quite unusual for us to see a phone number offered for claims. It is likely that this line is generally used when there is a question about how a claim was handled, rather than for actual filing of claims.

Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Central States Indemnity has been Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited since 2004, and the company has an A+ rating. There have five customer complaints on file and no reviews.

There are seven reviews on Google, resulting in a two-star rating overall. Two of the reviews are positive, while the rest are negative and have mixed comments. Three of the complaints mention that they had been charged for a product from CSI without their knowledge on an ongoing basis; one appears to have been through a policy tacked onto a mortgage. The rest cite denial of claims and other problems. Three of the reviews are in regards to Medicare Supplement, with two positive and one negative.

On Pissed Consumer, we found two reviews, both in regards to an “Extra Cash” policy for income replacement. One was glowingly positive, and the other solidly negative, essentially canceling each other out.

The Bottom Line

CSI makes the process of getting policy information a little convoluted, and their website leaves something to be desired in terms of details. They do not have a high complaint volume, however, and there are enough positive reviews to balance the negative. They are worth a rate comparison for those who are seeking Medicare Supplement insurance in one of the states CSI covers.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Central States Indemnity Medicare
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

2 Comments

  1. I just received my letter from CSI MEDICARE 20% on 12/23/2017 advising me that my premium went up from $107 to 118 per month. I just been on Medicare for 1yr. I cannot change if I wanted to because it had to be done by Dec7th. I called in mid-November and asked about a rate increase but was told if it was it would probably been known by now. Now I have the funds to pay this increase, but that’s not the point. The mere fact that the letter was dated 12/21 is a clear violation with lack of transparency for myself or anyone else to make a decision. But no CSI didn’t want to lose our business so they waited before notifying us. There are insurance and banking laws that prohibit this type of deception.

    Reply
    • CSI Medicare is supplemental or Medigap. These policies do not have a time requirement for changing policies; however, you will likely have to health qualify to change. Contact an agent in your area.

      Reply

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