There has been a lot of uncertainty this year with regard to the future of the Affordable Care Act – specifically whether or not some of the less populous or more rural Ohio counties would still have access to health insurance in the year ahead. But thanks to a small handful of providers and a few government agencies, it looks like all Ohioans will have access to health insurance in 2018. However, those in charge of these agreements are warned not to get too comfortable as this solution is only temporary.
“Making sure coverage is available has been our goal through this process, but this is a temporary solution and one that only applies to 2018. Beyond that, insurers are still looking for predictability in the health insurance market,” said Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment. “Now is the time for Congress to work on reforms that will strengthen our health insurance markets in ways that improve access and affordability.”
Following announcements made earlier this summer by several insurance carriers, more than 11,000 Ohioans in 20 Ohio counties, including Coshocton, Crawford, Guernsey, Hancock, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Perry, Van Wert, Vinton, Williams, and Wyandot, faced the real possibility of no longer having access to health insurance in 2018. That’s because, according to reports, many health insurers have found that participating in the Health Insurance Exchanges has proven too costly in some areas.
On Aug. 24, Froment joined CareSource in announcing that the company would participate in the exchange to serve residents in Paulding County – the last county in Ohio in need of a provider in the year ahead.
“Our decision to offer coverage in the bare counties speaks to our mission and commitment to the Marketplace and serving those who are in need of health care coverage,” said Pamela Morris, president & CEO of CareSource in a statement.
In the coming weeks the Ohio Department of Insurance will work with insurers to finalize the products and rates that will be available on the exchange in 2018. The department’s review of those filings will be completed by early September and insurers must sign contracts with the federal government by late September to sell coverage on the federal exchange.
The following health insurance providers have agreed to serve the following counties on the exchange.
- Buckeye Health Plan: Harrison, Logan, and Van Wert
- CareSource: Guernsey, Jackson, Lawrence, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Perry, and Vinton
- Medical Mutual of Ohio: Crawford, Knox, Hocking, and Hancock
- Molina Health Care of Ohio: Coshocton, Hancock, and Holmes
- Paramount Health Care: Williams and Wyandot
Following the future of the ACA can get tricky. Fortunately, there’s a better way. Listen to Joe Popp, JD, LLM, break down your options under the ACA in plain English on unsuitable on Rea Radio. Or you can email Rea & Associates to learn more.
By Joe Popp, JD, LLM (Dublin office)