Obamacare

 U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell promotes the Affordable Care Act at the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary is touring the country to raise awareness about the health insurance marketplace and promote open enrollment, which starts Saturday, November 15 and runs through February 15, 2014. In a visit to Columbus Thursday, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said she has faith in the website’s reliability.

Jesse Thomas is the CEO of InHealth, the new CO-OP health insurance provider for Ohio.
Janet Adams / Business First

Open enrollment for health plans from the Affordable Care Act starts Saturday, and Ohioans will have more options this year. The number of companies offering insurance on Ohio’s exchange has jumped from 12 to 16, assuaging concerns that competition would decrease, rather than increase under the new law. The new entries include Dayton-based Premier Health, a health network that is branching out into the insurance market for the first time, and a CO-OP called InHealth Mutual.

With More Options, Healthcare.gov Now Open For “Window Shopping”

Nov 11, 2014
A screen shot from healthcare.gov, the website for the Affordable Care Act health plans.
WCPN

The Obama administration said Sunday that consumers could begin "window shopping" for health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov, even before the open enrollment period formally begins on Saturday, Nov. 15. You can now click a button and check out your options before enrollment officially begins.

The healthcare.gov site now offers Aetna and United Healthcare, two national insurers who shied away from Ohio last year. That means the competition has picked up.

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.

Protesters in Washington, D.C. speaking out against the Affordable Care Act in its early days.
Tabitha Kaylee Hawk / Flickr/Creative Commons

Today marks one year since the federal government started offering health plans under the Affordable Care Act on healthcare.gov, also known as the “exchange” or “marketplace.” The launch was rocky, to say the least, but for the most part the glitches and disasters have been cleared up, and the political battles have also exited center stage. What’s happening now is an unprecedented growth in the numbers of people covered in the Miami Valley—and a health care industry that’s booming.

President Barack Obama speaks about affordable health care at an event in 2013 with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Despite controversy and a bumpy rollout, the president's signature bill enrolled more people than it had originally aimed for.
Eric Haynes / Governor's Office

As the time for open enrollment in federal health plans rolls back around, the federal government has announced a new round of grants for Ohio health insurance navigators.

Even after a bumpy start last year, the feds report more than 154,000 Ohio residents got new health plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplace between October 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014. People signed up through local health centers, food banks, libraries and churches, or just went online at home.

Ohio health insurers are refunding more than a million dollars in premiums to small businesses and individuals for 2013, according to a report out Thursday from the Department of Health and Human Services.

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.

Caresource
vistavision / Flickr

CareSource, a health insurance and Medicaid provider headquartered in downtown Dayton, has announced plans to expand into a new office in the former WorkforceOne building at 220 E. Monument Dr. As part of a broad plan for growth in Dayton in Ohio, the company will occupy four of the building’s five floors and shift 200 employees to the new site; Deloitte will remain on the top floor as a sub-leaser.

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.

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