The Ohio General Assembly has entered the final phase of deciding on the state budget for the next two years. The current version of the budget includes language that would freeze Group VIII enrollment (Medicaid expansion enrollment), starting Monday, July 1, 2018. Under this language, once you are ineligible for enrollment under expansion for any reason you can no longer re-enroll under expansion. This could lead to over half of current enrollees losing coverage in just the first year. Read a summary of the potential impact prepared by the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation.
The legislature has also included requirements that only those working, in school, over 55 years old, in a treatment program, or with a severe mental or physical illness will be able to keep coverage starting in 2017. This language, commonly referred to as a “work requirement,” means that someone looking for a job, or waiting for a spot to open up in a treatment program, will lose their health care entirely.
Individually, these provisions are harmful, but together they are lethal. Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans currently rely on extended Medicaid coverage so that they can continue to take care of their basic health needs, chronic physical and mental health diagnoses, and/or stay on a path to recovery from drug and alcohol addictions.
Let your state senator and state representative know these changes are unacceptable by sending a message through the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Speak Out system today!