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Questionnaire NameHealthy Ohio Program
DescriptionOhio requests a new 5-year section 1115 demonstration which seeks to modify the existing Medicaid expansion program. Individuals eligible for this program include the new adult group and all other non-disabled Medicaid eligible beneficiaries age 18 or older up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Beneficiaries, except for pregnant women, must make monthly contributions to a health savings account equal to 2 percent of income but not exceeding $99 a year. Failure to make monthly contributions within 60 days from the due date will result in disenrollment. Beneficiaries may reenroll but must pay debt owed before reenrollment. Beneficiaries, except for pregnant women, are subject to copayments which are paid for through the contributions made to the account, provided the beneficiary has funds in the account. Beneficiaries can earn money to pay for copayments by completing specified health behaviors. The federal comment period will be open from July 8, 2016 through August 7, 2016.
Response FromID: #209445 on Jul 13th 2016 12:46 pm
Healthy Ohio Program

Healthy Ohio Program

We encourage the public to submit their comments on Medicaid.gov as they relate to demonstrations open for public comments. In support of transparency and open government, all public comments received are immediately posted and are in the public domain. Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services staff will review all public comments posted and we reserve the discretion to delete comments that are generally understood as any of the following: obscene, profane, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate.

Refer to the Application

Open for Public Comment – 7/8/16 – 8/7/16

Please provide your comments here and/or attach below:

July 13, 2016

To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

I urge that CMS reject the State of Ohio’s “Healthy Ohio” 1115 Medicaid Waiver request because it will assuredly result in loss of medical coverage for many low income Ohioans who received coverage under Ohio’s expanded program. It will also be a costly, unnecessarily bureaucratic challenge to implement. In my opinion, this action will undo the commitment Ohio made to many of its low-income, working poor citizens when it first expanded Medicaid. If the waiver is granted, the result is certain to be a less healthy Ohio. Here’s why:

In Ohio, 640,000 citizens now have coverage as a result of Medicaid expansion and more than 2.9 million Ohioans (or 25 percent of the state’s population) are enrolled in Medicaid. The waiver, if granted, would begin to charge Medicaid enrollees small monthly premiums and coverage would be terminated for non-payment of those premiums. Buy back in would require paying the delinquent amount along with the current charge. This will be a challenge because recipients are low-income citizens of our State, people whose limited income often requires tough choices (should they fix the car so they can get to work and earn money to feed their family -- and risk losing their health insurance, or should they pay the premium and perhaps lose their job?) This is just one example. I saw many versions of these between “a rock and a hard place” choices that low-income, working families have to make each and every day in my 35 years working with families of limited income as ED of a local nonprofit in Cleveland Heights.

It is also true that the waiver, if granted, would institute complicated health savings accounts and debit cards which would be a nightmare to administer and too complex to be useable. All this will do is increase the bureaucracy that low income families face daily. It makes no sense.

These changes will negatively impact Ohio’s low-income Medicaid population. They will create barriers to access to care for more than 1 million people and be contrary to the purposes and legal guidelines of Medicaid. I urge that Ohio’s waiver request be denied.

Sincerely,

Diana Woodbridge
12620 Cedar Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
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