COLUMBUS – Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor is sharing tips with Ohioans on Medicare – or those soon-to-become eligible – to help them become more confident and empowered insurance consumers during Older Americans Month.
“Medicare is a complicated topic but our staff are dedicated to making it easier for Ohioans to understand,” said Taylor, also Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “I urge Ohio’s seniors and their families to take time in May to become more familiar with their Medicare options by utilizing the Department’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program’s (OSHIIP) free resources.”
There are currently 2.1 million Ohioans on Medicare with approximately 9,000 more joining the health insurance program each month.
Taylor offers these tips to Medicare consumers and their families:
1) Contact the Medicare experts at OSHIIP to:
- Understand how Medicare and various plans work.
- Narrow down coverage options that fit your health care and budget needs.
- Determine if you are receiving the benefits you are entitled to and what to do if you are not.
- Make sense of doctor and hospital bills and insurance statements.
- Learn more about coverage deadlines, late enrollment penalties, transitioning from different coverage, and managing out of pocket expenses.
2) Utilize the helpful Medicare resources on the Ohio Department of Insurance’s website:
- Read the Guide to Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Options and Part D.
- Download the Ohio Medicare Savings Programs Brochure.
- Sign up for a Welcome to Medicare webinar.
3) Protect yourself from Medicare fraud:
- Never share your Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers. Medicare or government program representatives do not make house calls or solicit by telephone.
- Do not sign any paperwork until you have a trusted advisor confirm the product will meet your needs.
- Watch for high-pressure sales tactics. When selling Medicare products, insurance agents cannot sell policies door-to-door or send unsolicited emails.
- Do not provide information to someone who claims to be from Medicare or Social Security and asks for payment over the phone or Internet.
- Report insurance fraud by emailing the Ohio Department of Insurance at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-686-1527.
OSHIIP is the state’s designated Medicare educational and enrollment assistance program. Last year, it saved Ohioans a program record $18 million assisting more than 193,000 people. Contact OSHIIP at 800-686-1578 or visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for information.