The state budget bill (Substitute House Bill 49) passed by the Ohio House of Representatives adds work requirements for those on Medicaid that may create barriers that will keep people from getting health care. Most Medicaid enrollees who can work are already employed.
- Be 55 years of age or older
- Have “intensive” health care needs
- Be either employed, in school, or participating in an alcohol and drug addiction treatment program.
That means many people would be thrown off Medicaid if they are laid off from a job, are job hunting, or on a waiting list for drug and alcohol treatment.
In addition, Sub. HB 49 requires the Department of Medicaid to submit all Medicaid payment rate increases to the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee at least 30 days before implementation. Medicaid deals with hundreds of thousands of rates and requiring legislative oversight of those rates will be cumbersome and costly.
Furthermore, House-passed budget would require Medicaid to seek Controlling Board approval of all Medicaid expenditures every six months. With this language, nursing homes, addiction programs, developmental disability programs, and mental health services are in jeopardy of losing funding twice a year. This approval requirement will make it challenging for the Department of Medicaid to enter into long term contracts, likely driving the pricing of services higher than they would be without the need for Controlling Board approval. Many feel these requirements are unwise, unwieldly, and jeopardize continuity of care for Medicaid enrollees.