Advocacy Alert: November 2013

Medicaid Expansion Update
By: Bobbie Celeste, PhD, OPA Director of Professional Affairs

Ohioans who are living at an income of 138 percent of the poverty level and do not have dependents are one step closer to being able to get mental health and alcohol drug treatment. Governor Kasich moved forward with the extension of Medicaid health insurance for those Ohioans who are very low income and do not qualify for Medicaid or the health insurance exchanges. The legislative Controlling Board of Ohio voted 5-2 on October 21, to allow the federal funds to come to Ohio. The Ohio Medicaid department is preparing its systems to enroll individuals who qualify in order to begin coverage on January 1, 2014. The one remaining barrier is a lawsuit that has been filed at the Ohio Supreme Court by a group who argue that it was not the legislature’s intent to expand the categories who qualify for Medicaid health insurance. For more information, contact me.

I attended a Behavioral Health Leadership Meeting at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on October 16, 2013.  Here is a link to my report.