Nick Gerhart

Nick Gerhart

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart has filed charges against two agencies which allegedly sent out mailings to Iowans that misrepresented the terms of insurance plans meant to supplement Medicare.

Insurance Division spokesman Chance McElhaney says the charges with filed against Cynthia Fitzgerald of the Robert J. Stillwell Agency of Pennsylvania and Senior Direct, Incorporated of Texas.

“As Iowans are making these choices, they need to have the right set of facts in front of them, and so when we see something like this that is misleading to Iowans, we work to put an end to it as soon as possible,” McElhaney. Fitzgerald and the Robert J. Stillwell Agency face four charges and Senior Direct faces three. He says the two contacted thousands of Iowans.

“The mailings from Fitzgerald had over 30,000 mailings to Iowans and the target leads of the division Senior Direct had also a lot of other mailings that went out containing misleading language,” McElhaney says. The two will get a chance to answer the allegations of the Insurance Division.

He says they both will have a hearing. Those hearings are set for December. McElhanney says some Iowans raised concerns about the mailings, and that is exactly what they advise people in their insurance fraud education.

“We tell people to ask questions when you get unsolicited emails or phone calls. Ask questions, make sure the information is accurate. If something doesn’t seem right, please let us know,” McElhaney says. “We really encourage Iowans contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program — SHIIP as it is better known — contact them if you have questions, if you aren’t sure if this is correct.” He says SHIIP is a good resource for these types of questions.

He say you can contact SHIIP to get free and unbiased information about Medicare and Medicare Supplements. McElhaney says Medicare supplement insurance is an important tool for managing health care costs.

“It can be a big difference financially for seniors if they either don’t choose a Medicare supplement, or they chose the wrong one,” according to McElhaney. If you have questions you can go to the Iowa Insurance Division website , or call SHIIP at 800-351-4664. Or visit the SHIIP website at: