TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich stopped in Toledo Monday for a speech at the Rotary Club of Toledo, where he touched on the state's Medicaid expansion, jobs, education and energy.
As part of its decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last month, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must give each state the option of expanding its Medicaid program.
According to the Vorys Health Care Advisors, the expansion extends Medicaid coverage to all adults earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Everyone else would have to buy private coverage, but there would be subsidies and tax credits for people earning between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level.
Under the act, the federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of the expansion for the first three years, and pay for 90 percent beginning in the fourth year of the expansion.
Should Ohio choose not to participate in the expansion, those under the poverty level but not covered by Ohio's current Medicaid program would not get state coverage or help buying private insurance. That means more than 600,000 Ohioans who would be eligible for Medicaid under the expansion could remain without insurance if the state turns down federal money to expand the program.
Asked whether Ohio would join the 5 states whose governors have already decided against taking part in the expansion, Governor John Kasich said he has not yet made up his mind.
"Even without expanding Medicaid, our costs are going to go up by nearly a billion dollars, so we have to manage that before we figure out what else we're going to do. I've instructed some of my staff to talk to some other governors' staffs to see if there's ways to make the expansion more palatable," said Kasich.
Ohio's Medicaid program currently costs about $18 billion each year to cover 21 million people. About $6.4 billion of that is paid for using by state funds. The remainder is covered by the federal government.
Ohio 2012 Eligibility and Federal 2012 Eligibility:
Blue – Persons currently covered by Medicaid.
Yellow – Persons who will receive subsidies or tax credits to purchase private insurance.
Red – Persons who will be covered by Medicare if Ohio chooses to participate in the expansion.
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