COLUMBUS — Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor announced that the state’s lead program that provides free Medicare education and counseling services saved Ohioans $20.8 million in 2015, including $11.3 million during the period people chose coverage for this year. The program also earned a first-place national ranking for its Medicare awareness efforts.
The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) counseled nearly 386,500 consumers setting a program savings record that surpassed the previous high mark of $18 million set last year. A total of 292,000 consumers were assisted in person at OSHIIP’s 2,500 statewide outreach events. OSHIIP is a division of the Ohio Department of Insurance.
“OSHIIP is second to none in the remarkable work that the staff, volunteers and partner organizations put forth in assisting Medicare-eligible Ohioans,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “The program is a tremendous resource that provides help with a personal touch and I urge people to take advantage of it.”
Ohioans realized savings because OSHIIP helped them identify coverage options that could better fit their healthcare and budget needs, including reviewing potential financial assistance options with them.
OSHIIP’s efforts gained national acclaim as its performance score ranked first in the nation compared to 54 similar programs in other states and territories, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OSHIIP climbed from last to the top spot in just four years, setting program record highs in the eight performance categories that included consumer engagement, enrollment support, counseling sessions and media outreach.
OSHIIP maintains a significant statewide community outreach presence in every Ohio county through a dedicated network of volunteers and partner organizations. These activities include Medicare Check-up Days held during annual open enrollment and Welcome to Medicare events each spring.
In addition, Ohioans with Medicare questions can call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578. Medicare information, such as consumer guides, tips sheets, premium information, interactive webinars, and more, are available at www.insurance.ohio.gov. You can follow OSHIIP on Facebook.