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GUEST COLUMN - Older Americans Month: OSHIIP Volunteers Making Their Mark

By Jillian Froment, Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance

May is Older Americans Month and this year's theme, Make Your Mark, acknowledges the dynamic contributions of older Ohioans as they share their time, skills, and experience to the benefit of communities across the state. Ohio's older adults inspire others by continuing to make their marks every day as volunteers, employees, employers, parents, grandparents, mentors, and advocates.

At the Ohio Department of Insurance, we are fortunate to partner with some of these engaged and passionate older Ohioans as they volunteer for our Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP), the state's lead Medicare education and enrollment assistance program. 

Working as trained Medicare specialists, older Ohioans educate and empower their

peers to become more informed Medicare consumers. Knowledge is power, and they know their time helping others understand Medicare benefits, coverage options, and financial assistance equates to people securing the most suitable coverage for their needs. Our volunteers are a big reason why, last year, OSHIIP saved Medicare consumers in the state more than $27 million.

One popular vehicle in which our volunteers and staff serve Medicare consumers is through our statewide in-person Welcome to Medicare events that start each year in May. But because of the necessity to keep everyone safe during the pandemic, this year, we are shifting to webinar-only events to assist Ohioan's transition into Medicare.

Participants will receive the same detailed engagement from our team in an interactive setting with one-on-one follow-up opportunities, including for help with enrollment. Check out the list of OSHIIP's Welcome to Medicare webinars. Staff can also be reached at 1-800-686-1578 and OSHIIPmail@insurance.ohio.gov.

I encourage older Ohioans to participate in our Welcome to Medicare webinars and to take advantage of other Medicare information and services provided on our website.

The dedicated volunteers and staff at the Ohio Department of Insurance are proud to serve older Ohioans, and it is an honor to celebrate Older Americans Month.