Medicaid

John McCarthy is the head of the Ohio Department of Medicaid. He appeared in Wilmington Tuesday at an event featuring providers and patients in advance of the governor's State of the State speech.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Governor John Kasich’s Department of Medicaid was in Wilmington Tuesday touting the success of Medicaid expansion and discussing ongoing reforms, including a proposal to start charging premiums to some low-income recipients.

The panel of state lawmakers looking over the budget had questions during a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday about Medicaid, including about a proposal to require almost 100,000 Ohioans making above the federal poverty level to pay premiums. 

State Medicaid Director John McCarthy said the premiums will be $20 a month, which he said will teach recipients about monthly payments when they make enough money to buy insurance on the federal marketplace. 

Advocates for Medicaid expansion say it has been successful and they are gearing up for a possible fight with Ohio lawmakers to keep it in place. Bobby Douglas, the executive director of the Liberty Center Connections in Wooster, says the expansion has been a huge help to Ohioans suffering from substance abuse.

Antwaun Brown is currently uninsured, and doesn't know yet whether he'll be able to get covered by the ACA. medicaid insurance health
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

It’s been a year now since Ohio expanded the low income health insurance program known as Medicaid, and enrollment exceeded expectations.

Another Battle Is Brewing Over Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion

Oct 7, 2014

The expansion of Medicaid to previously uninsured Ohioans began in January and has given nearly 340,000 residents health coverage. But the program's long-term success is also uncertain, as the political battle over Medicaid expansion in Ohio is about to begin round two.

The total numbers of backed up Medicaid applications by county. Ohio Medicaid as well as the federal Affordable Care Act have had backlogs piling up the last few months.
Ohio Governor's Office of Health Transformation

The Ohio Department of Medicaid is just beginning to process through a giant backlog of applications received between October 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, many of which are because of the expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act. On January 1, 2014, Ohio Medicaid changed its eligibility to include all adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

It’s the last week to sign up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act—the deadline is Monday, March 31. As people continue to wade through the confusion surrounding the law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced it will offer some wiggle room on the deadline.

Ohio officials are reporting over 23,000 people newly eligible for Medicaid in Ohio got enrolled in January, after Ohio Governor John Kasich decided to expand the insurance program to cover more low-income people using Affordable Care Act funds.

Medicaid can be tricky to quantify, however.

At the Montgomery County Job Center’s health care room, the people coming in are a mix—some have been on and off Medicaid, and some are signing up for subsidized care for the first time.

Ohio officials say they've received more than 17,000 applications from people seeking Medicaid health coverage through a new state website.

The online enrollment option became available Dec. 9 to eligible low-income families, along with individuals who fell under an expansion of the federal-state program for the poor and disabled.  It wasn't clear how many online applications came from those newly eligible under the Medicaid extension.

A spokesman for the state's Medicaid department says the website has been working smoothly.

When you look back at what the Ohio legislature did this year, you’ll discover a lot of controversial bills didn’t actually pass both chambers. Perhaps the biggest bill passed this year, the $62 billion dollar budget, also had some of those controversial bills attached to it.

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