The state’s expansion of the coverage for lower income individuals and families may offer a new opportunity.
Ohio and its Governor, John Kasich, has drawn a nationwide audience as it has finally become clear why the state was in support of the expansion of the Medicaid program, despite the fact that it is Republican led and that other similarly led states have refused the changes to the health insurance system for lower income households.
The governor has now revealed many of the details of his compromise with federal regulators.
Now, instead of expanding the traditional Ohio Medicaid program, the funding from the federal government that would have been designated for that purpose would be redirected to provide the same lower income individuals with coverage through an alternative means. Those same people who would otherwise have received Medicaid coverage would now have health insurance policies from the private sector purchased using federal dollars.
This means that while some will still receive Medicaid, others will have private health insurance coverage.
This, according to the director of the Office of Health Transformation in Ohio, Greg Moody. Kasich is hoping that the proposal will appeal to the Republican lawmakers who are resistant to the idea of providing full support to the expansion of the Medicaid system in the state. This new form of health insurance coverage has been nicknamed “The Ohio Plan”.
The Ohio Plan is different from the typical version of Medicaid expansion that was recommended by the federal government as a part of the Affordable Care Act due to a single vital point. Instead of using the traditional Medicaid system, it enters many enrollees into the private health insurance market. According to Moody, “We have a little bit of flexibility”.
This proposal has been months in the making, and has, for some time now, received the approval of federal officials following considerable negotiations between them and Kisich’s administration. Now, states in similar positions, such as Arkansas, are watching closely as they see how Ohio progresses, using private health insurance to be able to create a form of the Medicaid expansion, but on their own terms.