Healthcare

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.

This week the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the effect of the Affordable Care Act on jobs. Among other things, the report says low- and middle-income workers may have less incentive to work more hours if it means losing health care subsidies.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The AIDS Resource Center of Ohio, or ARC, has opened a new medical center near the University of Dayton campus. The center will be funded in part by its own in-house pharmacy on the first floor of the Wright Health Building, where the center will take over the second floor.

Nearly 40,000 Ohio residents have successfully picked health insurance plans through the new online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's law.

A report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services details enrollment numbers from Oct. 1 through Dec. 28.

Ohio is among the 36 states relying on the federal website, HealthCare.gov. Monday's figures show a significant spike in sign-ups compared with October, when the troubled website wasn't working properly. Just 1,150 Ohioans had managed to select a plan then, compared with 34,283 last month.

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.

Caresource
vistavision / Flickr

Today is the last day to sign up for Affordable Care Act insurance if you want it to kick in by January 1, 2014, and while Healthcare.gov has gotten much easier to use, Ohio is still far short of its enrollment goals.

When WYSO talked to Maxine Johnson last month, she had tried six times to sign up for Obamacare. She finally got a plan after major fixes to the website went through in December.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

 The Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services reports uninsured people in the Dayton area are starting to take advantage of the newly expanded eligibility for Medicaid.

For Ohioans seeking to get insured under the federal health care law, October was homework month and November was for browsing plans.

Expect to see more action in December. That's what groups who are helping residents get covered say. They are bracing for more people to enroll before next year.

The head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says people typically have three to five meetings with the organization's counselors before they feel comfortable picking a health plan in the new marketplace.

Southwest Ohio businesses have a new health care option on the table: so-called “self-insurance” allows companies to cut out the middle man.

The South Metro Regional Chamber of Commerce in Miamisburg has signed up to give its members access to a national self-insurance pool with hundreds of other businesses, which chamber director Julia Maxton says can save them money.

“It’s very clean, it’s very clear,” Maxton said. “It is something that they can understand.”

Pages