Medicaid Verification Letters

The State of Ohio has requested income verification from all those who signed up for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.  So far 107,000 people have not responded to the letters.  They are given until the end of the February to respond or they will be terminated from the program.  This could mean that the medicine that they are on will not be covered if they show up to fill a prescription.  They will have to re-sign up if they attempt to get medical assistance. 

Low income people including homeless people move frequently and often have a hard time getting mail.  It seems like there should be a better way to maintain eligibility with health insurance than the US mail.  All the work health care groups did last year to get people to sign up may be overturned.  The shelters are not seeing a huge number of unclaimed letters, but I am still checking on this.  We hope the lack of submission of paperwork will not reduce the number of insured in Ohio. This increase in the number who have health insurance has been one of the few bright spots for lower income people according to an analysis by the Plain Dealer today:

The impact was most significant for the bottom 20 percent (incomes of less than $20,000), where the portion of income directed toward state taxes was expected to increase by 0.9 percent, or $116 a year.

We also have to wonder how much this has to do with an overwhelmed workforce at Ohio Jobs and Family Services which has some incredible case load.  Try getting a person to answer the phone or respond to your voice mail.  My experience is that the voice mail boxes are full for most of the workers. 

Brian Davis

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