Help is available during Medicare enrollment period

From staff reports

Medicare’s annual enrollment period, which began Tuesday, will continue through Dec. 7, with a state program available to help people assess their options.

Ohio’s Department of Insurance’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) can be contacted with enrollment questions at 1-800-686-1578.

There will also be an informational event in Marietta beginning at 9 a.m. Monday at the Area Agency on Aging 8, 1400 Pike St. The free Medicare check-up is intended to help people review Medicare changes and determine coverage for 2014.

“Understanding the many different types of Medicare coverage can be complicated,” said Ohio Lt. Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor. “Fortunately the department’s staff can help consumers identify the coverage that best meets their unique needs.”

There are more than 30 prescription drug plans to choose from in Ohio, according to the Area Agency on Aging 8.

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 the network near where they live.

Topics of discussion at the event will 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 and available financial assistance programs. Attendees should bring their list of prescription drugs with dosages and preferred pharmacy, information on retirement coverage and Veteran’s Administration (VA) or other medical care benefits they receive.