Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor announced today that the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), a division of the Ohio Department of Insurance, will host Medicare Check-Up Day events throughout the state to help Ohioans understand their most suitable coverage options for 2016. Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.
“Now is the time to evaluate Medicare coverage and determine what changes may have occurred in benefits and plans,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “OSHIIP will hold events in counties across the state to help Ohioans understand the different coverage choices available as they plan for the upcoming year.”
During Medicare’s annual open enrollment, Ohioans can to choose to select Original Medicare paired with a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan and possibly a Medicare Supplement plan; or a Medicare Advantage Plan, which provides comprehensive health benefits including drug coverage; or determine if their existing coverage will meet their health insurance needs.
Attendees can also learn more about recent Medicare changes, such as new deductibles, co-payments, coinsurance amounts and financial assistance programs, which include help with prescription costs and Part B premium savings. The non-profit Pro Seniors and its fraud-fighting Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) will be present at the Check-Up Day events to encourage people on Medicare to protect their Medicare card, and explain how to detect fraudulent behavior and report issues to the SMP.
Ohioans should be aware of predatory sales practices during open enrollment. Insurance agents are prohibited from using high-pressure sales tactics, conducting door-to-door sales or representing themselves as a Medicare agent. If you suspect wrongdoing or have been victimized, call the department’s Fraud and Enforcement hotline at 1-800-686-1527 or the SMP at 1-800-488-6070.
Those unable to attend a Medicare Check-Up Day event and have enrollment questions or need financial assistance may contact OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. Information including specific plan details is available at www.medicare.gov.
To view a complete listing of Medicare Check-Up Day events, visit OSHIIP’s Medicare Check-Up and Annual Enrollment Toolkit page at www.insurance.ohio.gov/Consumer/Pages/MedicareToolkit.aspx. The toolkit includes a link to a Medicare Plan Finder, financial assistance information and more helpful tips. You can also visit www.insurance.ohio.gov and follow OSHIIP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OSHIIP.