Help with Medicare
Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program - Ohioans who have questions about Medicare or need help selecting coverage can contact the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), a service of the Ohio Department of Insurance, at 1-800-686-1578. The Department of Insurance also hosts hands-on Medicare Check-up Events where consumers can meet face-to-face with Medicare experts and get accurate, unbiased information.
Medicare Savings Program and Low-income Subsidy - The Medicare Savings Program may cover deductibles and coinsurance for Medicare Part B. Additionally, the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), or "Extra Help" program, may help pay for Medicare Part D monthly premiums, deductibles and co-pays. Individuals on Medicare with limited income and resources also may be eligible for financial assistance for medical expenses not covered by Medicare. Several public agencies provide free information about these and other assistance programs, including:
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people age 65 and over (and certain disabled individuals under age 65). If you are eligible for Social Security benefits (including disability benefits), you may apply for Medicare. There are three basic parts to Medicare: hospital insurance, medical insurance and prescription drug insurance.
- Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and covers hospitalization, hospice care, and some skilled nursing and home health care. Part A also helps pay for durable medical equipment, such as a hospital bed or wheelchair.
- Medicare Part B is medical insurance and covers some of the costs of necessary medical services and equipment, including doctors’ fees; physical, occupational, and speech therapies; durable medical equipment; x-rays and lab tests. Parts A and B together are generally referred to as "original Medicare."
- Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, combines Part A and Part B options into an HMO plan administered by private insurance companies. In most cases, Part C is a lower-cost alternative to original Medicare, and providers usually offer extra benefits, including prescription drug coverage (Part D).
- Medicare Part D is prescription drug insurance. A variety of plans are available to suit the consumer's needs, preferences and budgets. Consumers pay a monthly premium, then a low co-payment for each prescription filled (a deductible may apply).
Visit the official federal government site, Medicare.gov, for general information about Medicare coverage and available plans.
Prevent Medicare Fraud
When you let others play games with your Medicare coverage, everyone loses. Medicare fraud costs American taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year, money that could have been used to provide medical care, support home care services and help people avoid unnecessary nursing home placements.
"The Price is Wrong" fraud prevention radio campaign:
Message 1 | Message 2 | Message 3
To help prevent fraud:
- Treat your Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security numbers like you would a credit card or bank account number - never give them to a stranger;
- Carry your Medicare or Medicaid card with you only when you need it, such as to your doctor's office, your hospital or clinic and the pharmacy; and
- Record doctor visits, tests and procedures in a journal or on a calendar.
Carefully review your Medicare Summary Notice and Part D Explanation of Benefits statements each time you receive them. Look for things that may indicate mistakes or fraud, such as charges for something you didn't get, billing for the same thing twice and services that were not ordered by your doctor.
If you suspect fraud, address any issues with your provider first. If you are uncomfortable calling your provider or they are unable to address your concerns, call the Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) hotline, provided by ProSeniors, Inc., at 1-800-488-6070 for assistance.
If you'd like to help others become more aware of and fight Medicare fraud, call the hotline number above for volunteer opportunities.
Another way to battle fraud is to be an engaged consumer of Medicare products and long-term care services. Get answers to basic Medicare questions and help selecting coverage that best fits your needs by contacting the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) at 1-800-686-1578. The Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman can help consumers address concerns about long-term care providers.
For more information about Medicare fraud and what you can do to help stop it, visit www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.