On 9/9/16, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its decision to reject the state’s proposed Healthy Ohio Medicaid waiver. CMS expressed concern with the proposed waiver’s plan to charge premiums to enrollees, regardless of income, and to exclude from coverage anyone who missed a payment, ultimately harming access to affordable coverage. This decision follows two public comment periods, during which the Ohio Department of Medicaid received 956 comments, overwhelmingly in opposition to the plan.

“We applaud CMS for rejecting a plan that would be harmful to the health of hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who depend on Medicaid for their source of health coverage,” said Steve Wagner, Executive Director of UHCAN Ohio. “Requiring people with low incomes to pay premiums for health coverage and locking them out from re-enrollment when they can’t pay will intrinsically decrease enrollment, which does not further Medicaid’s goals of providing a health care safety net to vulnerable people. Furthermore, the waiver would widen the gap in health status between people of color and white people by causing a disproportionate percentage of persons of color to be without coverage.”

For more information:  www.uhcanohio.org