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 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.