From health care to long-term care, and spanning an array of legal issues, older Ohioans have a variety of benefits available to them. Understanding the benefits for which you may qualify can help you save money and be healthier. The Ohio Department of Aging works with many state and local partners to help elders identify and access valuable benefits.
Medicare Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2018. For assistance in understanding your options and picking a plan that is best for your needs, contact your area agency on aging or the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (1-800-686-1578).
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. Different parts of Medicare help cover specific services, such as hospital care, doctor's visits, medical supplies, preventive care and prescription drug costs.
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 Welcome to Medicare and Medicare Check-up Events where consumers can meet face-to-face with Medicare experts and get accurate, unbiased information.
Visit the official federal government site, Medicare.gov, for general information about Medicare coverage and available plans.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance helps pay the costs of long-term care services, such as home care, assisted living, nursing home care and more. Generally, health insurance, such as Medicare, does not cover these costs. A long-term care insurance policy may include premiums and co-insurance payments by the owner of the policy. Ask your insurance provider about available long-term care policy options. The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), a service of the Ohio Department of Insurance, offers information about long-term care insurance and selecting a policy that's right for you. Call them at 1-800-686-1578.
For older adults, Medicaid can cover some long-term care expenses for people whose income and resources are not sufficient to pay for it. It is jointly funded by the federal government and individual states and administered at the state level. In Ohio, Medicaid can cover the costs of home care and assisted living for eligible individuals through the PASSPORT, Assisted Living and other waiver programs.Visit the Ohio Department of Medicaid to learn more about Medicaid.
Legal Issues and Assistance
Older adults may sometimes find the services of an attorney specifically qualified in elder law particularly helpful. Elder law attorneys can help with a variety of legal issues, including wills, living wills, advance directives, guardianship, insurance and more. Contact your area agency on aging for the availability of legal help in your neighborhood. For limited legal advice or referral to an elder law attorney, contact PRO Seniors, Inc. at 1-800-488-6070.
The Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman also may be able to answer fundamental questions about legal rights and services. Call that office at 1-800-282-1206.
Elder Abuse Prevention
Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Ohio Benefit Bank
Medicare Balance Billing
(Ohio Department of Health)
Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program
(Ohio Department of Insurance)
Golden Buckeye Program