By Frank Lewis
Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor says the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), a division of the Ohio Department of Insurance, will visit Scioto County to hold a Medicare Check-Up Day event on Thursday, Oct. 1 at Sciotoville Church of the Nazarene; located at 518 Sycamore St; in Portsmouth.
The event begins at 10 a.m. Taylor said those events will be held across Ohio before and during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
“Our statewide efforts have begun and we are excited to help Ohioans as they make important decisions about their Medicare coverage,” Taylor said. “We are holding Medicare Check-Up Day events in every county to make it easier for Ohioans to access the information they need to understand their best coverage options for 2016.”
OSHIIP is the state’s official free educational resource for Medicare information and enrollment assistance. Taylor said last year, OSHIIP saved more than 193,000 Ohioans a record of $18 million – including $9.8 million during the annual open enrollment period.
During Medicare open enrollment, Ohioans can 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 for the upcoming year.
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.
Taylor said 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 for Medicare Advantage plans or presenting themselves as a Medicare representative. If you suspect wrongdoing or have been victimized, call the department’s Fraud and Enforcement hotline at 800-686-1527.
Those unable to attend the Medicare Check-Up Day event and have enrollment questions or need financial assistance, can contact OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578, Monday through Friday, 8:00 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.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.