COLUMBUS – Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor announced the Department’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) is available to help people assess their options during Medicare’s Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 annual enrollment period for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014. OSHIIP is Medicare’s designated and impartial educational program in Ohio for beneficiaries, family members and health care professionals.
“Open enrollment provides Ohioans with a great opportunity to review coverage and benefits and identify the plan best suited to meet their unique needs,” Taylor said. “Our staff can help consumers and their families go through the evaluation process as they select a plan for 2014.”
OSHIIP helped nearly 40,000 Ohioans save an OSHIIP record $5.5 million during last year’s annual enrollment period. Prior to the start of this year’s open enrollment period, OSHIIP has already helped Ohioans with Medicare save $9 million since the beginning of 2013.
Taylor urges Ohioans to contact OSHIIP with their Medicare questions and for assistance. In addition, OSHIIP is holding free “Medicare Check-up” events in every county to help people review changes to Medicare and determine their most suitable coverage options. A list of Check-up events is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
Taylor said when reviewing options, people should ensure a plan’s list of covered drugs includes their needed prescriptions and to consider the convenience of having pharmacies in their network near where they live. It’s also important to take into account all out-of-pocket expenses before making a decision.
Taylor cautions Ohioans to watch for predatory sales practices and offers that seem too good to be true. If you suspect wrongdoing or have been victimized, call the Department’s fraud and enforcement hotline at 1-800-686-1527.
Those with Medicare questions and in need of enrollment assistance can call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578. An OSHIIP Medicare Check-up and Annual Enrollment Toolkit, which includes a plans listing and outreach schedule, is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov. Ohioans can also find OSHIIP on Facebook. Information is also available by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and visiting www.medicare.gov.