GPM Medicare Supplement Review
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The GPM Medicare Supplement offered by GPM Life is a Mutual life insurance company where policyholders are the owners. It is owned and operated to benefit its policy holders not unlike stock holders who are generally interested in profits not and the quality of the product. The Government Personnel Mutual mission statement is “GPM Life, a company owned by and operated for the dedicated to helping people solve those financial problems arising from the uncertainties of life by providing quality products, prompt and understanding service and sound company growth with adequate margins for safety.”
P.J. Hennessey, retired Army Colonel started Government Personnel Mutual in 1934. His mission was to provide life insurance for the families U.S. military personnel even if they died during an act of war. In 1928 Blanche Hennessey was elected president of GPM so not only were they one of the great pioneers providing insurance to the military, they were also the first commercial insurance company to elect a female president. The ability to process premium payments by using government allotments to pay premiums was pioneered by GPM Life which provides made paying premiums much easier for the Military and Federal Civil Service families.
GPM is considered a fiscally stable insurance company that has earned an A- rating with A.M. Best. GPM still focuses on the active and retired military service men and women, but about 35% of business now comes from civilian Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees. Although these employees are offered additional life insurance, some choose to purchase it on their own and not through the federal government.
Although originally started for the specific benefit of the U.S. military, today GPM Life has a large portfolio of specialty products to the general public including Medicare Supplements, Final Expense or (sometimes called funeral or burial policies), Term, UL and Whole Life insurance for mortgage cancellation, educational funding, family survivor income, and retirement planning.
One of the most financially difficult times in life can be retirement. We all look forward to that time, some more than others. Unfortunately this is the time in life that most people begin to develop more illness. Many people use this time to travel and enjoy the life they worked so hard to achieve. This is not the time to find out how good your health insurance is. I cannot say that one company is better than the other when it comes to a Medicare supplement because they were standardized by the Federal Government in 1992.
What standardization meant to a senior or Medicare eligible individual, is that they no longer had to decipher the fine print details of a Medicare Supplement otherwise known as “Medigap” Insurance. These two phrases are used interchangeably but represent the same type of plan. Do not confuse a Medicare Advantage plan with either the word “Supplement” or Medigap”. Medicare Advantage plans do not supplement or add to Medicare Parts A and B., instead it replaces the use of original Medicare. You don’t lose Medicare, you are just using in a different way. We’ll stay focused on the GPM “Medicare Supplement” product.
GPM MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT MEDIGAP PLANS
GPM offers 6 different Medicare plans including A,C,D,F,G and N. The other plans B, HDF (High Deductible F), K, L, and M are not available through GPM. If you are applying during a special election Guarantee Issue period the only plans available are C and F. Medicare made sure that if you buy an F plan from one company, it will be the exact same coverage with another company. Although very beneficial to the buyer, the different companies only have a have a few advantages or disadvantages over another. The rate for each plan company to company will be different but there is more to than just the rate.
The first variable to take note about the GPM Medicare Supplement is who they may accept if you are not in Open Enrollment or a Special Election Period. This is one way a company can select who they will approve or not. It’s done so the company can try to keep rate increases to a minimum and is perfectly legal. There are a series of health questions, basic to most companies but this is where the little differences can make a big difference. GPM does not ask
GPM, as with most companies does not guarantee the rate for a period of 12 months, but it has been there practice in the past. After that you should anticipate some amount of increase for 2 different reasons:
• First, as you get another year older they may charge a small increase usually 1%-4%.
• Second and the more significant rate increases, come from claims experience of the group of policy holders who have the same plan (letter), in the same geographic area. The last claims increase for the GPM Medicare Supplement was in September 2015 and ranged from 2% to 7% depending on the location. This is a fair increase compared to other Medicare Supplement plans.
This is a great company for people with diabetes. Unless you live in Wisconsin or Minnesota, and you don’t have any complications as a result of diabetes including with complications including retinopathy, neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, any related heart disorder (Including hypertension/high blood pressure) or kidney disease. So even if you are using insulin and you diabetes is controlled they may approve you. You will also need to provide you current height and weight but GPM’s weight guidelines are very liberal. Below is a partial list of uninsurable conditions.
Unfortunately if you have one of these medical conditions or are being treated for it you would not be accepted unless you are on Open Enrollment or a Guarantee Issue period.
AIDS Diabetes (MN and WI only)
Alzheimer’s Disease Emphysema
ARC Kidney disease requiring dialysis
Any cardio-pulmonary disorder requiring oxygen Chronic kidney disease
Cirrhosis Kidney failure
Chronic hepatitis Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Lupus – Systemic
Other chronic pulmonary disorders to include: Multiple Sclerosis
Chronic bronchitis Myasthenia Gravis
Chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) Organ transplant
Chronic asthma Osteoporosis with fracture
Chronic interstitial lung disease Parkinson’s Disease
Chronic pulmonary fibrosis Senile Dementia
Cystic fibrosis Other cognitive disorders to include:
Sarcoidosis Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
Scleroderma Organic brain disorder
GPM makes applying for one of the best Medicare Supplements simple. Your agent can do a three way conference call with GPM and do your entire application over the phone! You can of course have our independent do the application the in person face to face or over the phone with email or fax. They are also one of the very few companies that will accept a company check from a business owner or their spouse. The majority of companies will not accept company checks to ensure compliance with the new tax laws.
GPM charges a $25 application fee ($6.00 in Mississippi or $0 in Arkansas, Maine, Minnesota, and West Virginia) that will be included the first month’s premium payment regardless of how you pay. If your application is declined, or you decide not to accept the policy, your application fee will be refunded. This is common a practice by most Medicare Supplement companies to help pay for the cost of underwriting. You will only be underwritten when you first apply, and your policy will automatically renew each year as long as you pay your premiums.
Due to state laws, GPM agents are prohibited from “cold calling” or contacting Medicare recipients by any other means other than a physical mail delivery service. If you would like to learn more about GPM’s Medicare supplement you can contact your current agent and ask if they represent GPM. If not, you must give express written consent a request for a GPM agent to contact you or call and make a request. Be cautious who you talk with. If you don’t remember asking for information then you probably didn’t and you should not talk with an unauthorized soliciting agent.