MARIETTA – Medicare’s annual open enrollment period is here, and Buckeye Hills Regional Council is prepared to help Medicare beneficiaries find the best coverage, the organization said in a news release. Starting Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, the Council’s enrollment specialists are available to help review coverage options to ensure people are choosing the best plan to meet their needs and budget.
“Medicare customers need to be aware that their coverage can change from year to year,” said BHCR Director of Aging Jennifer Westfall. “By calling enrollment specialists, individuals can review changes and make sure they understand their coverage and the costs associated with the Medicare plan they select.”
Individuals aged 65 and older can choose Medicare coverage through Original Medicare, or they can choose coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan. Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance.) Supplemental coverage may also be purchased through a private company to help pay out-of-pocket costs. Drug coverage can be added with a separate Medicare drug plan (Part D.)
Each year during Open Enrollment, Medicare recipients may review and stay with their current plans or look for a new plan with better coverage, higher quality, and lower costs. Buckeye Hills can also help individuals determine whether they may be eligible for the Low‐Income Subsidy or Medicare Savings Program, as well as other Medicare premium assistance programs, and assist with the application process.
“Enrollment specialists can also review the Medicare Extra Help Program with individuals who call,” Westfall said. “Extra Help is a program that can help lower prescription drug costs. Often, individuals may not know about the program or assume they are not eligible.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person check-up dates have not been scheduled. Therefore, the majority of help will be provided over the phone. Individuals may call Ohio’s Medicare hotline at 1-800-686-1578.