Ohio Department of Insurance’s effort provided counseling and information

Staff report


Ohio seniors saved an estimated $5.5 million during the 2012 Medicare open-enrollment period.

They saved by getting help in selecting supplemental health insurance coverage for 2013 through the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), state officials say.

Information about specific savings in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties is not available from the Ohio Department of Insurance.

The state department of insurance’s OSHIIP is Ohio’s designated Medicare educational and enrollment assistance program.

“One of my top priorities is protecting Ohio consumers and providing high-level customer service. The savings realized by 38,276 Ohioans last year demonstrates the importance of our work at ODI,” said Mary Taylor, ODI director and Ohio lieutenant governor.

The majority of the savings realized with Medicare was the result of OSHIIP counselors helping recipients identify the most-suitable plans that best fit their health care and prescription drug needs, officials said.

Taylor said Medicare recipients also saw savings by OSHIIP helping those eligible to enroll in financial assistance programs.

In addition, during the open-enrollment period, OSHIIP helped 159,000 Ohioans who attended some 2,000 public informational events, and through ODI’s toll-free hot line and face-to-face counseling in 2012.

Ohioans with Medicare questions can call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578 or visit online at www.insurance. ohio.gov.

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