COLUMBUS — Helping beneficiaries, family members and caregivers understand the different Medicare options and assistance with plan selection will be the focus as the Ohio Department of Insurance – through its Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) – hosts a free and unbiased “Medicare Check-up Day” event on Monday, October 26th at 10:30 a.m. at the Monroe County Senior Center, located at 118 Home St. in Woodsfield. The presentation will start at 10:30 a.m. followed by plan comparisons from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“This event provides a great opportunity for people with Medicare to learn about their plan options and how to secure the appropriate coverage,” said Mary Jo Hudson, Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “I strongly encourage people to attend or call our OSHIIP hotline at 1-800-686-1578 with any questions about Medicare coverage.”
OSHIIP is conducting Medicare Check-up Days in each of Ohio’s 88 counties to complement Medicare’s annual “coordinated election” period, which starts November 15 and ends December 31. Coverage secured during this period will begin January 1, 2010.
During the coordinated election period, people on Medicare can select one of several coverage options: Original Medicare for their health coverage needs paired with a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan; a Medicare Advantage Plan, which provides comprehensive health benefits including drug coverage; or determine if their existing coverage already meets their health insurance needs. Plan benefits may change each year, so Ohioans are encouraged to contact OSHIIP for a plan review. In addition, financial assistance is available to those with limited income.
At each Check-Up Day event, OSHIIP representatives will discuss changes to Medicare and preventative benefits, how to manage expenses during the Part D coverage “doughnut hole” or gap in coverage, share information on financial assistance available to those with limited income, advise beneficiaries if they can coordinate other coverage and also run comparison reports on various plans. OSHIIP can help beneficiaries enroll in their Medicare coverage of choice starting November 15.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a list of their prescriptions drugs, dosages and preferred pharmacy, as well as any information on pension, VA or other medical care benefits they are receiving.
For a complete listing of available Part D and Medicare Advantage plans, visit www.medicare.gov. Those with Medicare questions and those who need enrollment assistance (starting November 15) and/or information about financial assistance programs can call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.
A listing of Medicare Check-Up Days is available on the Department’s web site at www.insurance.ohio.gov.