Share “Ohio spends fewer Medicaid dollars than...”

Ohio spends fewer Medicaid dollars than budgeted

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm •  Published: December 28, 2012

The state's cost-wary officials are assessing the long-term impact of expanding Medicaid. And McCarthy said the administration is closely following discussions about the "fiscal cliff" in Washington, fearing that a possible deal to avoid the tax increases and spending cuts could include pushing more of the cost of the Medicaid program toward states.

The state is bracing for hundreds of thousands of eligible Ohioans to sign up for Medicaid once the federal law requires most people to have health insurance.

Ohio officials estimate there will be a roughly $700 million increase in the cost of the program in 2014 and 2015, as 319,000 new people come onto the rolls.

Kasich, a Republican, has said he plans to make known his decision on whether to expand Medicaid when he releases his next budget.

Under the law, the federal government will cover 100 percent of the cost of the first three years of the expansion, gradually phasing down to a 90 percent share — still a far more generous match than states have traditionally received. The expansion is expected to provide coverage to about half the 30 million uninsured people nationwide who will benefit from the law.

Under the health care law, Medicaid would be expanded on Jan. 1, 2014, to cover people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $15,400 a year for an individual.

Medicaid currently covers roughly 2.3 million low-income and disabled people in Ohio.