Obamacare

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.

Pointal / Openclipart

Small businesses around Ohio are struggling to sort out the details of the Affordable Care Act, and it’s unclear whether recent delays in the law help or hurt the confusion.

The big Obamacare question for small employers is this: “Am I required to provide health insurance to my employees, or not?”

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.

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.

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.”

The Ohio Controlling Board approved funding to expand Medicaid in a 5-2 vote Monday afternoon.

That means beginning this January, over 300,000 Ohioans could become newly eligible for the state-run health insurance program, and around 275,000 are expected to get covered in 2014. The expansion extends state Medicaid programs to cover all adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or a little less than $16,000 for an individual.

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