Ohio senior citizens saved a record amount of money thanks to a state program that helps them navigate the often confusing enrollment for Medicare.
The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program helped more than 160,000 Ohioans save $16.4 million in 2013, according to the Ohio Dept. of Insurance.
The program allows seniors to call a toll-free hotline, receive in-person counseling or attend 1,429 statewide outreach events to get help with questions or finding the right plans for their needs within Medicare.
During the fall enrollment period alone OSHIIP saved Ohioans $8.96 million in 2013 compared to $7.5 million in 2012.
"We are working each and every day to help Ohioans save money and find the coverage that best meets their needs," said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor who heads the Ohio Dept. of Insurance. "With more than 10,000 Ohioans turning 65 every month, we must continue our efforts in 2014."
Taylor said Ohioans were able to realize savings because OSHIIP helped them identify the most suitable coverage and by facilitating financial assistance enrollment if they were deemed eligible. OSHIIP is the state’s designated Medicare educational and enrollment assistance program.
In 2011, Ohio ranked last in the nation in terms of helping save money for seniors. It's up to 15th now.
Starting in May, OSHIIP will hold 22 Welcome to Medicare events across the state to help new and soon-to-be beneficiaries understand the basics of Medicare.