Medicare check-up day planned


Staff report



COLUMBUS – Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor announced that the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), a division of the Ohio Department of Insurance, will visit Darke County to hold a Medicare Check-Up Day event on Nov. 11 at First Health, located at 5735 Meeker Road, in Greenville. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. OSHIIP will hold these events across Ohio 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,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “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. 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. 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 presenting themselves as a Medicare representative. 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 this 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.

Staff report