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Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion Has Provided 700,000 Citizens Good Insurance And Has Made A Big Positive Impact On Recipients

In 2014, Ohio opted into the Medicaid Expansion made available to states through the Affordable Care Act. By May 2016, a total of 702,000 individuals were eligible for and received Medicaid coverage made possible by this Expansion. In 2016, at the request of the Ohio Assembly, The Ohio Department of Medicaid in cooperation with Ohio State University, conducted an in-depth study of the result of this Expansion. The information in this post comes from that study.

Medicaid expansion allowed most Ohioans age 19 through 64 with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to become eligible for Medicaid. Prior to January 1, 2014, Medicaid eligibility for adults was limited to those with certain qualifying characteristics such as parenthood or disability, and the income limitation for most Medicaid eligibility groups was lower than 90% of the FPL

This Medicaid Expansion has made a huge difference in the number of low-income citizens in Ohio who have health insurance. In Montgomery County, 11.9% of all adults ages 19-64 are enrolled in the Medicaid Expansion. In total, 21.8% of adults in that age group are enrolled in Medicaid.

Ohioans who have insurance because of the Expanded Medicaid option provided through the Affordable Care Act

Most Expanded Medicaid enrollees were uninsured prior to obtaining Medicaid coverage, either because they had no prior insurance at all (75.1%) or they had lost employer-based insurance (13.9%). The study shows that most Expanded Medicaid enrollees were white (71.5%), male (55.8%), with a high school degree or less (58.1%), unmarried (83.8%), and without a child in the home (82.1%). Employment rates were similar for the Expanded Medicaid enrollees and pre-expansion enrollees (43.2% versus 41.5%)

Key Findings of the Study

  • More than one-quarter of Group VIII enrollees were diagnosed with a chronic condition after enrolling in Medicaid, suggesting a high level of unmet medical needs. Medicaid has enabled those with chronic conditions to obtain evidence-based care… Enrollees are showing improvements in the management of their chronic conditions, including reductions in high-risk levels of blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Participation in Medicaid has made it easier for Group VIII enrollees to pay for basic necessities including food and housing. Medicaid coverage has enabled currently employed Group VIII enrollees to maintain their positions, and it has helped enrollees without jobs to seek employment.
  • Since Expanded Medicaid enrollment, more than one-quarter (27.0%) of participants have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition. Many of these chronic conditions would likely have remained undiagnosed and untreated without Medicaid expansion.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Group VIII enrollees (64.3%) reported that Medicaid improved their access to generalmhealth care. Similar improvements were reported for access to care in the areas of pharmacy, vision, and dental.
  • Of Group VIII enrollees with positive screens for anxiety or depression, 44.0% reported that access to mental health treatment had become easier since enrolling in Medicaid, while 5.0% indicated that it had become harder
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