The House budget made no big moves on Medicaid or Medicaid expansion – which is a departure from the last budget, as lawmakers created restrictions and former Gov. John Kasich vetoed many of them.
That may change soon, with a plan to require small premiums and copays from as many as 4-in-10 Medicaid recipients.
The Healthy Ohio program allows for recipients who don’t pay to be moved into a limited Medicaid program. Loren Anthes from The Center for Community Solutions, which studies Medicaid, says the Ohio Medicaid director can pick from a menu what items will and won’t be covered in that basic program.
“Things like pharmaceuticals are one of the benefits that could go away. Things like wheelchairs, ambulance services, dentistry, vision,” Anthes said.
Anthes says up to 10 percent of Ohio’s population could be affected. Healthy Ohio’s chief backer, Republican Rep. Jim Butler, stresses recipients won’t lose all health care coverage if they miss payments, and that he’ll be reintroducing the idea as a stand-alone bill soon.