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Senior Lifestyles

Make sure you have right Medicare coverage

11/1/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Mary Taylor

Open enrollment started Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7

COLUMBUS — Each month, more than 10,000 Ohioans turn 65 as America’s baby boomer generation continues shifting into the next phase of their lives. If you are one of these Ohioans celebrating your 65th birthday, you may be thinking about retirement, spending more time with family and friends or enjoying your favorite hobbies. While each of you may have a different path for the future, you should take time to consider your health care coverage and health insurance needs.

If you are eligible for Medicare’s many programs, you should use the Medicare Open Enrollment Period — which began Oct. 15 and will end Dec. 7 — to your benefit. For current recipients and those newly eligible that have questions about what is best for you, the Ohio Department of Insurance has a program with answers to your questions.

The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) has been helping people on Medicare for more than 20 years by providing free and objective information. Our dedicated staff is committed to providing helpful information about each Medicare option, including prescription drug plans.

For example, Part D and Medicare Advantage plans can change year-to-year in terms of benefits offered, provider networks and out-of-pocket costs. You should also know there are programs available to assist low-income individuals with prescription drug costs and their Part B premiums. Ultimately, there are a number of different factors you should keep in mind to determine what plan best meets your needs while staying within your budget.

Members of OSHIIP have been trained to provide free plan comparisons and prescription drug plan evaluations to all Ohioans on Medicare. Our staff is currently holding events in every Ohio county to help you make the best decisions during the open enrollment period. Through the help of OSHIIP, you may be able to lower your health care costs without having to sacrifice quality of care. In fact, during last year’s open enrollment period, OSHIIP helped Ohioans save more than $750,000.

To be confident that your current plan offers the best coverage for you in 2013, we encourage all Medicare recipients to compare their options by contacting OSHIIP for a free, personalized comparison report.

As the Medicare Open Enrollment Period for 2013 began this month, take a moment to contact our staff and make sure you or a loved one is getting needed coverage at the lowest cost.

You can call OSHIIP toll free at 800-686-1578, or read more about Medicare by visiting the Ohio Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ohio.gov. You can also find a complete list of events in your area by using our Medicare toolkit located on the Department’s website.


Mary Taylor is Ohio lieutenant governor and Department of Insurance director.

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