COLUMBUS – Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor announced the Department’s free and impartial Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), also the state’s official resource for Medicare information and enrollment assistance, is available to help people understand their coverage options during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period that starts October 15 and runs through December 7.
Taylor also said the Department has launched a new downloadable guide to help consumers better understand Medicare so they can make confident and informed coverage decisions.
“More than 2 million Ohioans are currently enrolled in Medicare and I hope each one will utilize our OSHIIP program during this very important open enrollment period,” Taylor said. “OSHIIP is holding events in every county across the state, conducting one-on-one counseling sessions and taking phone calls to help you secure a plan that best meets your healthcare needs and budget.”
Those with Medicare questions and in need of enrollment help, including financial assistance, can call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. Information, including specific plan details, is also available at www.medicare.gov.
In addition, OSHIIP is holding free “Medicare Check-up” events in every county during the enrollment period to help people review changes to Medicare and determine their best coverage option for 2013.
A special Department Medicare Check-up and Open Enrollment Toolkit is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov. The toolkit includes a list of plans, financial assistance information, a Check-up events schedule, and the Department’s new Medicare guide. The publication addresses many topics including when and how to apply for Medicare, understanding coverages and benefits, how MedSup works, and provides sample premium charts and a plan comparison worksheet. You can also like and follow OSHIIP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OSHIIP.
During annual enrollment, Medicare recipients can select one of several health coverage options: 1) Original Medicare paired with a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan and perhaps a Medicare Supplement plan. 2) A Medicare Advantage Plan, which provides comprehensive health benefits including drug coverage. 3) Or, determine if their existing coverage will meet their health insurance needs for the upcoming year.