West Side Senior News & Notes
Medicare enrollment period ends Dec. 7
COLUMBUS — Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor is reminding Medicare recipients that the deadline to select coverage for 2013 is tomorrow, Dec. 7, at midnight. Any changes made to Medicare coverage will take effect Jan. 1.
“There can be numerous changes to benefits and costs in plans from one year to the next,” said Taylor, who is a Green resident. “While not everyone needs to make a change, contacting the department is still a good idea for running a comparison and determining if you have the coverage you need for 2013.”
The department’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) can help those on Medicare understand changes to their plans and what might best suit their needs for 2013. During the annual enrollment period, recipients can select one of several health coverage options: Original Medicare paired with a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan and perhaps a Medicare Supplement plan; 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.
Ohioans can call 800-686-1578 to reach OSHIIP Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program already has helped consumers realize a record savings of more than $3.5 million during open enrollment this year, according to Taylor. OSHIIP celebrated its 20th anniversary this year as Medicare’s designated educational program in Ohio.
In addition, a Medicare Check-up and Open Enrollment Toolkit filled with important information is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov, Taylor noted. To like and follow OSHIIP on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/OSHIIP.
For more information, call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov.
ODA, Veterans Services release first submissions from War Era Story Project
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Departments of Aging (ODA) and Veterans Services have released the first contributions to the departments’ joint War Era Story Project.
From late May through August 2012, the departments asked Ohioans to submit their memories from the start of World War II through the 1940s. According to ODA officials, 46 stories are included in this first release, with more stories planned to be released once per month until all submissions have been shared with the public. The stories can be read at www.aging.ohio.gov/news/storyprojects.
“World War II was, without a doubt, one of the most challenging and influential periods in our nation’s history,” said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, ODA director. “Our elders not only lived through this time, they learned how to live, how to survive and, ultimately, how to thrive. We owe them a debt of gratitude, and this project is but a small token to say ‘thank you’ for all you did to make our state and nation safe and strong.”
The War Era Story Project was a follow-up to the ODA’s award-winning 2009 Great Depression Story Project, according to ODA officials. Since this project was intended to explore Ohio’s war-time experience, the ODA teamed with the Ohio Department of Veterans Services to collect stories from veterans of World War II, as well as the men, women and children who held steady on the home front.
According to ODA officials, the project garnered submissions from 283 people, including 21 who currently reside out of state or who did not provide location information. Ohio residents represent 50 different counties. Of the authors who provided an age, the oldest was 100 and the youngest was 25. The average age of authors was 83.
In recognition of Veterans Day, which was Nov. 11, the first stories that were released were primarily written by or about Ohioans directly involved in the war effort as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
ODA accepting nominations for awards
COLUMBUS — Nomination deadlines for two of the Ohio Department of Aging’s (ODA) highest recognitions for older adults are fast approaching, and Bonnie Kantor-Burman, ODA director, encourages all Ohioans to nominate outstanding elders they know for the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and the Joined Hearts in Giving Award.
According to ODA officials, nominations for the Hall of Fame will be accepted through Dec. 2 and for Joined Hearts in Giving through Dec. 31. Nomination forms are available on the ODA’s website at www.aging.ohio.gov/news/nomina tions/.
The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements and contributions of older adults, as well as the role elders play in their communities, across the state and nationwide, according to ODA officials. Honorees personify the benefits of active, productive and purposeful living at all points in their lives, according to ODA officials. Nominees must be age 60 or older and be native-born Ohioans or residents of the state for at least 10 years. Posthumous nominations will be accepted.
According to ODA officials, nominees will be evaluated on their contributions in areas of endeavor including, but not limited to, the arts, business, education, health, activism and science. Selected individuals will be inducted during a special ceremony held in May in recognition of Older Americans Month.
The Joined Hearts in Giving Award is presented in conjunction with the First Lady of Ohio, Karen Waldbillig Kasich, and honors Ohio couples who share a lifelong commitment not only to each other, but also to their community through volunteerism, according to ODA officials. Eligible couples have been married for at least 40 years, with one of the spouses being at least 60 years old. Each spouse must actively participate and volunteer in community service, and the couple’s primary residence must be in Ohio. The Joined Hearts in Giving Award is presented during a special reception hosted by the First Lady at the Governor’s Residence in observance of Valentine’s Day.
The department accepts nominations for these honors, as well as the Elder Caregiver Award, year-round, according to ODA officials. Nominations received after the annual deadlines will be held and considered for the following year. The individuals being recognized must be aware of and consent to the nomination. Nominations are evaluated by a panel of department staff and state and local partners based on objective criteria, according to ODA officials.
Kathleen Collins and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
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