Advocacy Alert: March

Why Does OPA Support the Medicaid Insurance Extension in the Governor’s Budget?
By: Bobbie Celeste, PhD, Director of Professional Affairs

• The best reason is that 275,000 more Ohioans will be covered by health insurance and have access to mental health coverage.

• An independent study shows that the economic impact will be positive for Ohio with more money coming into our communities than going out (study done by Ohio State University, The Urban Institute and the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, 2013).

• The federal government will pay 100 percent of the new Medicaid covered individuals for the first three years (bringing Ohioans tax dollars back to Ohio).

• Currently to qualify for Medicaid, children and their families must be at about 90-100 percent of the federal poverty level (Approx. $15,000 income or below for an adult and child). The budget proposal expands it to 138 percent of poverty (Approx. $20,600 income or below for two people).

• Ohioans many of whom are working at low-paying jobs (and have no dependent children) would qualify for Medicaid insurance if they meet the income requirement (below 138 percent) of poverty.

• Care that is currently uncompensated such as for those who walk into emergency rooms or are now paid for by the state (e.g prisoners’ inpatient hospital care) will be covered 100 percent through new money from the federal government.

• If we do not accept the Medicaid expansion to 138 percent for working poor, we will need to supplement the upcoming 2014-2015 budget by $404 million dollars.

If you agree that this is important coverage for Ohioans, please contact your state representative. They are deliberating on this topic now and there is much opposition. Go to www.legislature.state.oh.us to find your legislator and send an email.

An amazing coalition of businesses, providers, consumers, advocates and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce all support this move to expand the list of who qualifies for Medicaid insurance in Ohio. Learn more.

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