Tomorrow, the Ohio Department of Medicaid will open public comment on their proposal to significantly change Ohio’s Medicaid program based on guidelines passed by the State Legislature in the last state budget. These proposed changes could cause more than 1 million of Ohio’s most vulnerable people including women, parents, people who are homeless, and others, to lose their health coverage by forcing Medicaid enrollees to pay monthly premiums that aren’t affordable and establishing confusing health spending accounts.
Currently, Medicaid helps many Ohioans, like Jackie B. get and keep employment, stabilizes their families, and helps them stay healthy.
Jackie B. is a retail worker and single mom of four children. Her present employer offers health coverage, but at around $ 40.00 per week out of pocket, it’s simply too expensive. Until last year, when Jackie qualified for Medicaid under the expansion, Jackie had to deal with the day-to-day worry of being uninsured. Over the course of 13 years without access to regular health care, Jackie’s medical needs, went largely unaddressed and her only source of care was the hospital emergency room. Now that she has coverage through Medicaid, she gets the care she needs. But, with the changes proposed in the Medicaid waiver, Jackie fears she will not be able to meet the monthly premiums and could lose the care she went so long without. “I can’t go back to life without health coverage”, said Jackie. “I can now get the care I need to lead a full and productive life,” says Jackie.