The State of Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) recently recognized the Ohio Hills Health Services volunteer Medicare Counseling team, Barb Smith and Brandy Stephens as the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program 2015 Team of the Year.
This recognition comes shortly after announcing The Ohio Department of Insurance's OSHIIP program, saved Ohioans $20.8 million in 2015. OSHIIP also earned a first-place national ranking for its Medicare awareness efforts, over 54 similar SHIIP programs throughout the United States and the four U.S. territories. The OSHIIP program is designedto help Medicare beneficiaries understand health care benefits and options by providing free Medicare education and counseling services. The SHIIP programs are ranked based on scores from consumer engagement, enrollment support and six other criteria.
In early 2015 Ohio Hills Health Services (OHHS) decided to have their two Certified Application Counselors trained and Certified in Medicare counseling. OHHS recognized the current assistance provided by their Certified Application Counselors (free health insurance education and assistance with the Health Insurance Marketplace and Ohio’s expanded Medicaid) was successful in helping many individuals, but the Medicare eligible population was missing out on much needed assistance. A partnership was created between OSHIIP and Ohio Hills Health Services to have their Certified Application Counselors trained and Certified in Medicare counseling.
Due to the aging population in our service area and several consumers who were newly transitioning into Medicare, OHHS felt it would be of great benefit to the community to seek a solution to these issues. Medicare counseling is not usually an expected responsibility for a Certified Application Counselor, but OHHS took the initiative to add that as a service for the community with OSHIIP’s guidance. A lot of confusion surrounds the ever changing health insurance landscape and the OHHS Certified Application Counselors offers guidance to the community.
The Certified Application Counselors at Ohio Hills Health Services provide free, unbiased, confidential Marketplace, Medicaid and Medicare health insurance education/assistance to anyone in the community regardless if they are an OHHS patient or not.
Ohio Hills Health Services (OHHS) is one of 44 community health centers in the state of Ohio. OHHS is a non-profit health care organization, which will celebrate 40 years of service this year. Our mission is to promote healthy lifestyles, provide comprehensive healthcare and offer preventative services for area residents. The primary focus of all four OHHS centers are: providing prompt, courteous and affordable health care that is responsive as well as sensitive to individual needs. The four health centers include: Barnesville Family Health Center, Monroe Family Health Center, Freeport Family Health Center, and Quaker City Family Health Center. OHHS also offers affordable oral health care at their Freeport Family Dental Center.
Community Services Director, Lana Phillips stated “OHHS is an organization who cares about the people we serve and the community as a whole. The partnerships developed and services provided are always with the needs of the community in mind. The continued collaboration with OSHIIP is regarded as a wonderful opportunity for not only our organization, but also our community.”
“Ohio is a large state with 88 counties and many other hard working and dedicated OSHIIP volunteers, all of which are also worthy of recognition.
“It is humbling to know the dedication and care we have for our service area, brought this wonderful recognition to our organization,” quotes Brandy Stephens, Certified Application Counselor.which are also worthy of recognition. We are honored to accept the 2015 Team of the Year Award,” says Barb Smith, Certified Application Counselor.
In the years to come, OHHS will continue to grow by developing more programs and services to benefit area residents. For more information about Ohio Hills Health Services or the Certified Application Counselor Services please feel free to call 740-239-OHHS (6447).