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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.
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.
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.