Source: Medicaid and Health Policy Institute of Ohio
According to data from the Kasich administration, nearly 500, 000 low-income Ohio adults, most of them uninsured, received mental health and addiction services under the state’s Medicaid eligibility expansion (Source: “Medicaid Expansion Covers Nearly 500,000 Ohioans for Mental Health, Drug Treatment,” The Columbus Dispatch, July 17, 2016).
The Columbus Dispatch story highlights one of the many ways Ohio’s Department of Medicaid is providing more consistent health care to some of our most vulnerable citizens. Many of these individuals were previously left without the help they needed to lead productive lives, driving up health care costs elsewhere.
The Medicaid expansion has brought 954,887 onto the rolls since the program began on January 1, 2014. Just over 50% were treated for mental health and drug addiction problems, and about 100,000, or more than 1 in 10, were diagnosed with severe mental illness, including psychosis, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
State officials said nearly all of the 481,903 newly enrolled Medicaid clients with behavioral health or addiction issues had been uninsured before gaining coverage through the tax-funded health care program for the poor and disabled. Some received limited services through community-based programs but many were not getting treated.