Make the Ohio Department of Insurance Your “Go-To” Insurance Resource
Ohioans can protect themselves by utilizing web-based information and tools, social media, toll-free hotlines
COLUMBUS — Have an insurance question? Unsure why your claim was denied? Need help determining the Medicare plan best suited for you? Want to file a complaint or report insurance fraud?
Many people have questions and need help when navigating the complex world of insurance. During National Consumer Protection Week, March 6-12, Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor is urging Ohioans to utilize the resources provided by one of the largest consumer protection agencies in the state.
"We want Ohioans to know the Ohio Department of Insurance is a trusted friend that is here to help you," Taylor said. "We ask you to put the Department's web address in your favorites list, become a friend on our Facebook page, and program our toll-free hotlines into your cell phone so you can reach us when you need insurance assistance."
The Department annually handles thousands of consumer inquiries and complaints against companies and agents resulting in millions of dollars being saved or recovered on behalf of Ohioans.
The agency also conducts regular outreach and is collaborating with several government agencies and organizations to host statewide events during National Consumer Protection Week. The purpose is to help people protect their privacy, manage money and debt, avoid identity theft, steer clear of scams, and better understand the basics of insurance. A special online toolkit can be found at www.insurance.ohio.gov/Consumer/Pages/NationalConsumerProtectionWeek2011.aspx. It includes a complete list of activities.
The Department’s website, www.insurance.ohio.gov, includes insurance publications, brochures, tip sheets, newsletters, podcasts and news alerts. Some of the topics include how to avoid and report fraud, tips on buying insurance and how to sign up for specific Medicare plans. An auto insurance sample premium calculator, and sample premiums for other coverages, company complaint ratios, an agent/agency locator, a list of Ohio insurance companies, and questions and complaint applications are several of the dynamic tools available for consumers.
Ohioans can call the Department's consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss their insurance issue. Those with Medicare questions and who need help comparing plans should call the Department's Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) at 1-800-686-1578 during the week from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. A voice message can be left after hours and on weekends.
Ohioans who want to report a deceptive sales practice or suspicious behavior can call the fraud hotline at 1-800-686-1527, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ohioans are reminded to protect themselves against insurance fraud by checking with the Department to ensure they are dealing with a licensed and reputable agent, to carefully compare and review products with a trusted advisor and/or family member, and to not be pressured into making a purchase.
The Department's National Consumer Protection Week outreach partners include: the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Franklin County Treasurer's Office, Ohio Deferred Compensation, Ohio Consumers' Counsel, Consumer Credit Counseling of Central Ohio, Better Business Bureau, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Pro Seniors, and the Ohio Department of Commerce.
Here's a list of events involving the Ohio Department of Insurance:
Rhodes State Tower—Lobby
March 7, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
30 E. Broad St.
Memorial Hospital Golden Thread’s Program
March 10, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
715 S. Taft Ave.
Highland County Senior Center
March 11, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
185 Muntz St.
Adams Co Multi-Purpose Senior Center
March 9, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
111 W. Main St.
West Union, OH
Airman & Family Readiness Center, Building 2
March 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2000 Albrook Dr.
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
O’Neill Senior Center, Inc.
March 10, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
333 Fourth St.
Brookhaven Retirement Comm.
March 11, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 Country Lane
March 10, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
150 W. Dorothy Lane.
Maple Knoll Village, auditorium
March 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
11100 Springfield Pike
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