Ohioans may need to switch Medicare plans


COLUMBUS — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that approximately 34,000 beneficiaries in Ohio will need to secure new Medicare coverage for 2010 because their current Medicare Advantage plan is discontinuing coverage effective at midnight Dec. 31.

Open enrollment

Each October, Medicare announces plan changes and the withdrawing plans mail notices to the affected beneficiaries in advance of the Nov. 15 to Dec. 31 annual coordinated election period, sometimes referred to as open enrollment.

Beneficiaries can select their form of Medicare coverage, which is Original Medicare only, Original Medicare with a Part D prescription drug plan, or one of the many Medicare Advantage plans that provides comprehensive health benefits often including prescription drugs.

Help available

“Beneficiaries need not to panic about finding new health insurance. There is help available and beneficiaries have from Nov. 15 until Dec. 31 to select new coverage,” said Mary Jo Hudson, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, whose Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program provides free and unbiased informational and enrollment services to Ohio Medicare beneficiaries, their loved-ones and caregivers.

The program encourages these beneficiaries to select new coverage as soon as possible.


The counties with 1,000 or more beneficiaries losing their current Medicare Advantage plans are: Butler, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lake, Miami, Montgomery and Stark.

“Representatives can assist beneficiaries in determining available plan options and pinpoint which ones may best fit their needs,” said Hudson. “Ohioans with Medicare can call the program hotline at 800-686-1578 with any questions, and to arrange in-person counseling with the program, if necessary.”

A complete listing of available Medicare Advantage and Part D plans is available at www.medicare.gov.


Those with Medicare questions and those who need enrollment assistance (starting Nov. 15) and/or information about financial assistance programs can call the program at 800-686-1578 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Medicare at 800-633-4227 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s recommended to call this number in the evening or on weekends for quicker service.

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  1. I say don’t let them discontinue coverage. They commited to be a supplimental Medicare provider, then they should be requiered to be one for a minimum of ten (10) years before being aloowed to discontinue coverage. This make a profit and then screw the seniors and disabled when the bottom line isn’t as good is just PLAIN WRONG!

  2. Having sadly experienced the Medicare Advantage plan with Humana, and having had two trips to the hospital, and two surgeries in three weeks, I would not advise anyone to change from regular Meicare to an Advantage plan without going over it with a fine tooth comb. Under the regular Medicare plan I would have had a yearly deductible which would have been paid for under the Advantage plan, I had a daily fee charge which meant a rather large fee charge which was not covered. It was quite a burden for a senior citizen on a fixed income.


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