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The knowledgeable and courteous staff at Central Ohio Group in downtown Ashland stays current on Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, and helps clients get the best coverage for their needs and budget.
Between owner Matt Tharp and co-owner Gina Ashley, they have over 50 years of experience, in addition to the 50 plus years of combined experience among their staff of six. The agency is also proud to share that 2017 is its 40th year in business.
The agency has three licensed sales agents that pride themselves in not just finding the right product for their client, but seeing that the plans protect and fit their needs for the long haul. A purchased policy is just the start of a partnership with their clients. They work together from the time of sale by helping clients navigate a sometimes confusing process through education, problem solving and courteous and prompt service.
"We service what we sell," explained Tharp, adding the staff develops a friendly and relaxed relationship with their clients and accommodates them as much as possible.
"We think of our clients as part of one big happy family. We still have in force the very first case the agency wrote 40 years ago. To keep a client that long is wonderful and a testimony to our customer satisfaction. We must be doing something right," Tharp says.
Central Ohio Group has a variety of insurance products to meet the many needs of its clientele. The company began in 1977 as a wholesaler that marketed insurance products to other agencies. The coverage they currently offer concentrates on Health Insurance and Medicare benefits, however does not extend to home or auto.
Since the advent of the Affordable Care Act, the agency has expanded to working with agencies that no longer want to sell health plans. They have found a niche to help those agencies continue to offer plans, service and answers for their clientele in the health arena. Central Ohio Group offers their expertise on the Affordable Care Act and helps their client choose an appropriate plan.
While they started as a health benefits only agency, they expanded 10 plus years ago to include Medicare supplements, Medicare prescription drug and Medicare advantage plans. There is a lot of confusion for clients coming off a traditional medical plan to transitioning to a Medicare plan. They do a complete evaluation for clients at no charge to secure the appropriate coverage while making the transition as easy as possible.
Central Ohio Group offers Medical Insurance products for employers of any size as well as to individuals in the areas of health, life, dental and disability. One of the new coverages available to groups starting at two employees is Level Funding. This gives an employer the opportunity to save premiums over current Affordable Care Act Plan pricing by sharing in the good health of their employees. We are finding this to be a very competitive program for those companies that qualify.
Additionally, because Tharp knows one size doesn't fit all, clients will find a vast number of carriers to fit their needs. They evaluate each client and make recommendations based on their needs. They have multiple products to customize an affordable benefit package. Insurance is not a "cookie cutter" process, so the plan should fit the needs of the client.
Policies are available from well-known companies such as Anthem, including their new Ashland Area Chamber SOCA Plan, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Starmark, Allied National and National General, to name a few. On the Medicare side, they offer Aetna, Anthem, CIGNA, Humana, Mutual of Omaha and AARP/United Health Care, EnvisionRx and SilverScript, among other carriers.
October signals a busy and exciting season for Central Ohio Group. Annual Election for Medicare (AEP) begins Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 and simultaneously Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act plans (Obamacare) begins Nov. 1.
A big change for the individual health insurance market this year is the change of the Open Enrollment Period down to 45 days. OEP will run Nov. 1st to Dec. 15 this year. In addition the staff is seeing a reduction in the health insurance carriers so it is important for everyone to check their coverage and not wait until the last minute to make changes.
Central Ohio Group is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Though walk-ins are accepted 4th quarter is very busy for us with both open enrollment periods in full swing, so it is recommended clients and potential clients call ahead at 419-289-1510.