COLUMBUS — Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor announced the Department’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) helped more than 160,000 Ohioans with Medicare save a record $16.4 million in 2013 through its toll-free hotline, in-person counseling and 1,429 statewide outreach events. The figure includes a record $8.96 million saved during the Fall open enrollment period. That compares to $7.5 million in savings for Ohioans during the 2012 Medicare open enrollment period.
“We are working each and every day to help Ohioans save money and find the coverage that best meets their needs,” Taylor said. “OSHIIP assisted more than 160,000 consumers last year, but with more than 10,000 Ohioans turning 65 every month, we must continue our efforts in 2014. Thankfully we have a great network of volunteers and partner organizations serving consumers in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.”
Taylor said Ohioans were able to realize savings because OSHIIP helped them evaluate their coverage options as they reviewed plans for 2014.
OSHIIP is the state’s designated Medicare educational and enrollment assistance program. Since 2011, the program has incorporated technological enhancements to better track its interactions with consumers and is more aggressive in providing educational information and counseling opportunities. As a result, OSHIIP has moved ahead of 39 other SHIP programs according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) national performance data.
Starting in May, OSHIIP will hold 22 Welcome to Medicare events across the state to help new and soon-to-be beneficiaries understand the basics of Medicare.
Ohioans with Medicare questions, such as about the Welcome to Medicare events, can call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578. Information is also available at www.insurance.ohio.gov and you can follow OSHIIP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OSHIIP.