Home Money Medicare Check-Up Days provide information on Medicare options, warn against fraud

Medicare Check-Up Days provide information on Medicare options, warn against fraud

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A division of Ohio’s Department of Insurance is hosting Medicare Check-Up Day events throughout Ohio in an effort to help Ohioans choose a suitable coverage option.

The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program, a division of the Ohio Department of Insurance, is hosting check-up days in over 75 Ohio counties.

“Now is the time to evaluate Medicare coverage and determine what changes may have occurred in benefits and plans,” said Ohio Lieutenant Gov. Mary Taylor, who also serves as director of the ODI. “OSHIIP will hold events in counties across the state to help Ohioans understand the different coverage choices available as they plan for the upcoming year.”

The events will focus on changes in Medicare Part D plans and Medicare Advantage Plans. Part D gives citizens prescription drug coverage and is available to anyone who is already eligible for Medicare Part A or Part B. The Medicare Advantage Plan provides an alternative to the traditional Medicare plan and is offered by private companies, according to an ODI report.

Also present at the events will be Pro Seniors, a non-profit organization that provides free legal and long-term care help to older adults, and its Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol, a division of Pro Seniors that focuses on fighting Medicare fraud. Medicare beneficiaries are at a high risk for fraud, with $60 billion a year being lost due to Medicare fraud waste and abuse, Project Manager for Pro Seniors, Anne Fredrickson said.

“We partner with (OSHIIP) to provide the Medicare fraud information because right now beneficiaries are very vulnerable to exploitation because of the nature of solicitation by insurance agents,” Fredrickson said.

This susceptibility to fraudulent behavior is a driving force for Pro Seniors and the Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol, which are trying to facilitate Medicare beneficiaries in becoming more aware about their Medicare options.

“I think we have astute Medicare beneficiaries that try and access information on the internet to try and understand how they could become a victim of fraud,” Fredrickson said. “But I also think that it’s not front and center for them.”

The Medicare Check-Up Day events will also provide information about recent Medicare changes and will assist in helping Ohioans pick Medicare plans that are financially feasible.

The OSHIIP helped save Ohioans a total of $18 million last year in Medicare costs, according to a press release.

This year’s events, which kicked off at Licking County’s Granville Senior Center on Aug. 24, will run through Nov. 24. Eligible Ohioans can sign up for a plan during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

For those who cannot attend an event, an online webinar focusing on Medicare enrollment and eligibility will be held on Dec. 14 from 6-7 p.m. Those interested must sign up for the event on the Ohio Department of Insurance’s website.

Ohioans can find more information and other resources on Medicare plans by going to the Ohio Department of Insurance’s website.

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