Medicare Check-up Days
Helping beneficiaries determine what Medicare coverage suits them best will be a focus of the Ohio Department of Insurance starting in the fall and running through December 31. The Department is conducting a series of Medicare Check-Up Days in each of Ohio's 88 counties. Medicare Check-Up Days Listing
The Check-Up Days complement Medicare's annual open enrollment or "coordinated election" period, which started November 15 and ends December 31. Medicare recipients can choose Original Medicare for their health coverage needs and pair it with a stand-alone Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. They could select a Medicare Advantage Plan, which provides comprehensive health benefits including drug coverage; or they may determine their existing coverage already meets their health insurance needs. Drug formularies, provider networks and plan benefits can change each year, therefore, beneficiaries need to determine if their current plan will still meet their coverage needs. Medicare coverage secured through open enrollment will begin January 1, 2009.
At each Check-Up Day, the Department's Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) representatives provide information on recent Medicare changes, explain the different coverage options, run comparison reports on various plans and advise beneficiaries if they can coordinate other coverages such as Veterans Administration (VA) along with that of Part D. OSHIIP, the state's lead program for Medicare information and enrollment assistance, can help beneficiaries enroll in their Medicare coverage of choice.
Other topics include significant savings on prescription drug costs for those with limited incomes; how to save using retail discount drug plans; drug company patient assistance programs; Medicare's preventive benefits and managing expenses during the Part D coverage "doughnut hole," or gap in coverage.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a list of their prescriptions drugs, dosages and preferred pharmacy, as well as any information on pension, VA or other medical care benefits they are receiving.
For a complete listing of available Part D and Medicare Advantage plans, visit www.medicare.gov. Those with Medicare questions and who need enrollment assistance can call OSHIIP at 1.800.686.1578 or Medicare at 1.800.633.4227.
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