COLUMBUS – Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and ends on Dec 7. The Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Insurance encourage all Ohioans with Medicare to review their coverage options and ensure they are choosing the best plan to meet their needs and their budgets.
“Choosing the right Medicare plan is making a plan for your future,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Examine your options now and every year to ensure your Medicare plan responds to your changing health needs and preferences.”
“Medicare options can be overwhelming; we’re here to help,” added Jillian Froment, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program counselors are in your communities throughout open enrollment. They provide free, unbiased assistance with evaluating Medicare plans and providers.”
During open enrollment, Ohioans with Medicare can stay on original Medicare and shop for a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan. Or, they can select a Medicare Advantage Plan, which provides comprehensive health benefits, typically including prescription drug coverage.
Even if they plan to stay with their existing coverage, Ohioans should use this time to determine if that coverage will continue to meet their health insurance needs. Plans can change from year to year, as can an individual’s overall health and insurance needs. People with Medicare can also use this time to learn about recent Medicare updates and financial assistance programs.
The Ohio Department of Insurance’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) is hosting Medicare Check-Up events throughout the state to help consumers objectively compare plans and learn about their options and available assistance. View a calendar of Medicare Check-Up events at www.insurance.ohio.gov. Those unable to attend a Medicare Check-Up event can contact OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578 or call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
Your area agency on aging is also a great resource for access to local Medicare help. Call 1-866-243-5678 to be connected to the agency serving your community.
The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.
Submitted by the Ohio departments of Aging and Insurance.