COLUMBUS – As the Medicare open enrollment period approaches, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) Director Jillian Froment are encouraging those on Medicare to review their prescription drug and health insurance options and select a plan that fits their needs and budget. The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), a division of ODI, will host Medicare Check-Up Day events throughout the state to help consumers objectively compare and select the best plan that meets their unique needs. Medicare Open Enrollment for the 2020 plan year starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7.
“More than two million Ohioans rely on Medicare, and we work to help families make the best decisions to meet their health care needs,” Governor DeWine said. “Families should discuss their Medicare coverage and contact the Department of Insurance for help selecting a plan for next year.”
Locally, information sessions and help will be held Oct. 3 and 31 at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville. A presentation will be held Oct. 3 from 10-11 a.m. Call (937) 547-7628 to RSVP. Counseling will be available by appointment on Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To make an appointment, call the number listed above.
During Medicare’s annual open enrollment, Ohioans can:
* Stay on Original Medicare and shop for a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan. Select a Medicare Advantage Plan, which provides comprehensive health benefits, typically including prescription drug coverage.
* Determine if their existing coverage will continue to meet their health insurance needs.
* Learn more about recent Medicare updates and financial assistance programs that help pay prescription drug costs and Part B premiums by attending a Medicare Check-Up Day.
Those unable to attend a Medicare Check-Up Day event can 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.
Protecting against fraud and identity theft
During open enrollment, Froment advises Ohioans to be aware of predatory sales practices and Medicare scams, such as unsolicited calls from scammers asking for personal information, such as your Social Security number or Medicare number. If consumers suspect wrongdoing, they should call the department’s Fraud and Enforcement hotline at 1-800-686-1527 or the Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-488-6070.
For more insurance tips and information, visit www.insurance.ohio.gov or call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to speak to a representative. For additional information, follow the department on Facebook and Twitter.