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Deadline to select Medicare coverage is 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 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,” Lt. Gov. Taylor said. “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 can help those on Medicare understand changes to their plans and what might best suit their needs for 2013. 

During annual enrollment, 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;

• 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 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The program has already helped consumers realize a record savings of more than $3.5 million during open enrollment this year.  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 information is available at www.insurance.ohio.gov.

Those with Medicare questions and for enrollment assistance can also contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (800) 633-4227), 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week and visit www.medicare.gov. 

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