Medicaid

State Unveils New Medicaid Application System

Dec 11, 2013

The state says it’s created a new system to connect Ohioans to Medicaid benefits, faster. This is just another step in the state’s project to better coordinate public assistance programs.

The new system received more than 1,100 applications in its first day of operation.  This was also the first time people under the expanded Medicaid program could sign-up online.  The digital application service replaces the old system which had been in place for 32 years.

Low-income Ohioans can start signing up for Medicaid coverage online, along with those who are newly eligible under an expansion of the health program.

The online enrollment option being launched today is part of a new state system. Residents also can learn about what type of health coverage could be available to them through the new website, www.benefits.ohio.gov.

Ohioans who are newly eligible for Medicaid under an expansion of the program can apply for coverage that begins on Jan. 1.

State officials are reminding Ohioans that they have until Dec. 7 to find Medicare coverage or switch plans under the government's program for seniors and the disabled.

The open-enrollment period gives beneficiaries a chance to review their health and prescription drug coverage. Any changes they make to their Medicare coverage will take effect Jan. 1.

The state's insurance director Mary Taylor says benefits and costs in plans can change from one year to the next, and consumers should check how those factors impact coverage.

As the fiasco continues in Washington over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, technical problems still plague healthcare.gov, the website that was meant to be the law’s easy one-stop shop for subsidized health care plans. Enrollment numbers released last week were disturbingly low, with just 27,000 enrollments through the federal site in the first month after its Oct. 1 launch.

401(K)2013 / Flickr

Federally-funded Medicaid expansion is projected to save the state over $400 million. Now, lawmakers and other groups are pitching their ideas for how to use that money. There's not a lot of agreement on what to do with the savings. Emily McCord speaks to Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles about the different options on the table.

A new study says about 544 thousand Ohioans will be eligible for tax credits under the federal health care law if they purchase coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces.

The state-by-state analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only seven states have more residents eligible for tax credits than Ohio. Texas tops the list with 2 million. Nationally, an estimated 17 million people could get the credits.

Attorneys for the state say there's no need for the Ohio Supreme Court to rush its consideration of a lawsuit over Medicaid expansion.

Two anti-abortion groups and six Republican lawmakers are suing Ohio after a legislative panel cleared the way for Gov. John Kasich's administration to spend federal dollars to cover more people in the Medicaid health program.

In a court filing yesterday, state Solicitor Eric Murphy says the plaintiffs don't properly justify their request to speed up the case in a manner similar to election cases.

Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Governor Kasich bypassed the Ohio legislature this week when the state's controlling board approved federal money to expand Medicaid. One day after that decision, anti-abortion groups and six Republican lawmakers filed a suit to stop the measure. Emily McCord speaks to Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler for PoliticsOhio. Kasler reports the move could spell trouble for Kasich's agenda going forward.

Medicaid Expansion Legality Debated

Oct 24, 2013

Governor Kasich's decision to sidestep the legislature and expand Medicaid with approval from the state controlling board has critics crying foul - and mounting a legal challenge. The day after the state controlling board approved the expansion, a group called the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed suit. But a law professor at the University of Akron believes the controlling board's decision will stand.

Among the plaintiffs is Matt Lynch, a Republican lawmaker from Chagrin Falls.  He says the expansion of Medicaid should have been through a traditional legislative action.

One of the Republican Senators who voted to allow the state to accept two and a half billion federal dollars for Medicaid expansion has introduced a bill to give Ohioans a tax break. The legislation is designed to capture savings in state government and give that money back to Ohio taxpayers.

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