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Medicare open enrollment starts Friday: Here's what to know

Posted at 2:06 PM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 14:09:53-04

CLEVELAND — There are more than 2 million Ohioans enrolled in Medicare, a national health insurance program for people 65 or older and those with disabilities.

Medicare open enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Open enrollment is a chance for people to make changes to costs, cover and providers in their network.

"One mistake that happens too often is doing nothing,” said Christina Reeg, the director of Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program. “It's a choice to do nothing. At a minimum, we ask the Medicare beneficiaries in the state of Ohio review the plan they have.”

Reeg warns Ohioans need to be on the lookout for anyone asking for personal information or money to help with enrollment. Medicare will never call you to sell you anything, visit your home or enroll you over the phone unless you called first.

“Our advice is if something sounds possibly too good to be true, it might be,” Reeg said. “The federal government generally is not calling 60 million-plus Medicare beneficiaries.”

You should also never give personal information, such as your Medicare information, social security number, bank account or credit card numbers to anyone to contacts you by phone, email, text or in person.

The biggest change in Medicare is that there are no changes.

If someone does contact you, report it immediately.

“If somebody contacts you and tells you Medicare is issuing new cards because of COVID or, you know, we need your personal information for a booster vaccination, do not give out any personal information,” Reeg said. “A lot of folks say it's embarrassing and they don’t want anyone to know, but you can protect others from this happening too.”

To help answer any enrollment questions, the Ohio Department of Insurance is hosting a virtual town hall on Monday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. You can register for free online at

“The evening will provide high-level information about Medicare and tips on what to do during open enrollment, and we're allowing ample time for question and answer,” Reeg said.

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