Free OSHIIP “Medicare Check-up” Event Coming to Cuyahoga County

Event Sept. 17 at the Cleveland Heights Senior Center

James Crosby | 9/12/2013, 9:38 a.m.

Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor announced the Department’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) will hold a free Medicare Check-up presentation-only event in Cuyahoga County on Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Heights Senior Center. The center is located at One Monticello Blvd.

The event is intended to help people review Medicare changes and determine coverage for 2014. It coincides with Medicare’s Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 annual enrollment period. OSHIIP helped nearly 40,000 Ohioans save an OSHIIP record $5.5 million during last year’s annual enrollment period. So far in 2013 OSHIIP saved Ohioans with Medicare $8 million.

“Understanding the many different types of Medicare coverage can be complicated,” Taylor said. “Fortunately the Department’s staff can help consumers identify the coverage that best meets their unique needs.”

OSHIIP is Medicare’s designated and impartial educational program in Ohio for beneficiaries, family members and health care professionals. Taylor urges Ohioans to call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578 with their Medicare questions and for enrollment assistance. A Medicare Check-up and Annual Enrollment Toolkit is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov. The toolkit includes a plans listing, Check-up events schedule, and more. Ohioans can also visit OSHIIP on Facebook.

Taylor said when reviewing options, people should ensure a plan’s list of covered drugs includes their needed prescriptions and to consider the convenience of having pharmacies in their network near where they live. It’s also important to take into account all out-of-pocket expenses before making a decision.

Topics of discussion at the event include recent changes to Medicare such as the new Medicare deductibles, co-pay, and coinsurance amounts, Medicare Advantage and Part D plan options for 2014, as well as available financial assistance programs. Attendees should bring their list of prescriptions drugs with dosages and preferred pharmacy, information on retirement coverage and Veteran’s Administration (VA) or other medical care benefits they receive.