Press Release: UHCAN Ohio Submits Comments on “Not Healthy for Ohio” Waiver

COLUMBUS, OH – Today, UHCAN Ohio (Universal Health Care Action Network Ohio), submitted comments to the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) in response to the proposed 1115 Demonstration waiver.

UHCAN Ohio’s comments explain how the proposed waiver does not meet the criteria the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses to evaluate an 1115 demonstration proposal, highlighting how it will;

  • worsen health outcomes for low income Ohioans, especially those facing the highest rates of health disparities
  • reduce access to care by imposing premiums and establishing complex health savings accounts
  • hurt the efficiency and quality of care provided by Ohio’s Medicaid program.

“It’s unfortunate ODM has no choice but to submit this proposal; in no way, shape, or form, does it meet the federal government’s 1115 demonstration waiver criteria," said Steve Wagner, Executive Director, UHCAN Ohio. "Everyone should have the opportunity to have good health. The waiver would create a system that will disproportionately hurt Ohioans who are facing barriers to having good health. This is bad policy," said Wagner. 

Press Release: UHCAN Ohio Dubs “Healthy Ohio” Waiver, #NotHealthy4Ohio

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. 

UHCAN Ohio's Response to the State of the State Address

SBIRT is a Comprehensive, Community-Based Approach to Addressing Ohio’s Opiate Epidemic

“UHCAN Ohio is pleased Governor Kasich’s State of the State address urged communities to use a comprehensive and community-based approach to stop the opiate epidemic. However, the current approach is missing a critical element – a dialogue between every child and a trained professional. 

Elimination of Medicaid "Spend down": Will You Be Affected?

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has announced that they will begin eliminating spend-down after July 2016. People who are currently using health care expense spend-down to be eligible for Medicaid will have to meet income eligibility criteria (below 138% of the federal poverty limit, $16,242 per year for a single person; $24,250 per year for a family of four).

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