* Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor is urging Ohioans on and eligible for Medicare to select 2016 coverage before the midnight deadline on Dec. 7.

During Medicare open enrollment, Ohioans can choose to select Original Medicare paired with a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Enrollees can also determine if their existing coverage will meet their health insurance needs for the upcoming year.

“It is important to understand that even if you are happy with your current Medicare coverage, cost and plan benefits may be different in 2016,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Be sure to conduct a thorough review of the available plan options and contact the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) if you have any questions.”

Ohioans who need help understanding Medicare and determining coverage options should:

Contact OSHIIP for Medicare information and enrollment assistance at 1-800-686-1578 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. Information including specific plan details is available at www.medicare.gov

Attend an OSHIIP Medicare Check-Up Day event throughout the state. To view a complete listing of Medicare Check-Up Day events, visit OSHIIP’s Medicare Check-Up and Annual Enrollment Toolkit page at www.insurance.ohio.gov/Consumer/Pages/MedicareToolkit.aspx. The toolkit includes a link to a Medicare Plan Finder, financial assistance information and more helpful tips.

The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) is a division of the Ohio Department of Insurance. Follow OSHIIP on facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioDepartmentofInsurance/OSHIIP.

* The Portman for Senate campaign this morning submitted 3,000 signatures—the maximum allowed—from all 88 counties in Ohio to the Secretary of State’s office in order to be placed on the 2016 ballot.

“This election is about restoring the American dream for all Ohioans and reasserting American leadership and our place in the world,” Rob Portman said. “I look forward to continuing to lay out my positive vision to create more jobs and better wages for Ohioans through common sense conservative principles. Under Ted Strickland, Ohio lost over 350,000 jobs and ranked 48th in job creation. Now he wants to double down on the same failed policies that hurt Ohio families, raised taxes, caused healthcare costs to skyrocket, and crushed small businesses with burdensome regulations. Ohio families simply cannot afford a return to Ted Strickland’s Ohio.”

Since May 1, the campaign has undertaken an unprecedented volunteer effort, contacting over 900,000 voters through a door-to-door and phone program and establishing a leadership team in all 88 counties. The Portman campaign has also launched a number of coalitions, including Sportsmen for Portman, Women for Portman, Students for Portman, the African American Leadership Council, and the Veterans Leadership Council.

Staff report