Ohio Will Not be in Charge of Obamacare’s Ohio Insurance Exchange
According to state Insurance Director Mary Taylor, the governor of Ohio, John Kasich, submitted a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Health and Services Director, explaining that the state will allow the federal government to make decisions with regards to its health insurance exchange. Taylor explained that at this time the state and the department thinks that the exchange is still best cared for by the government.
According to Carrie Ghose of Business First, the states must decide by today (Friday) whether or not they will command their own insurance exchanges or allow the government to take over this role for them. The exchanges are online resources through which people can comparison shop for their health insurance. While Ohio had the opportunity to choose to either run the exchange themselves entirely or to partner with the federal government, the state decided to hand the entire responsibility over to the government.
Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Kasich and Taylor have been against the law, as they feel it will restrict residents from having real choice when it comes to insurance coverage and that it will likely raise premiums.
Taylor said she hopes that they can work along with Congress to come up with changes to the law. As of now, there has also been no word as to whether or not Ohio will make it possible for more people to be eligible for Medicaid.
Initially, there was concern that a federally run exchange would shut insurance agents out of the process, but over the last year, according to John Dodd Jr., a broker from Westerville and the current president of the Columbus Underwriters, those fears have mostly been addressed and resolved and agents have more reason to believe that they will still be included.
Insurers from the state have said that an exchange run by Ohio would be best for the state’s insurance market, as competition between carriers helps to keep premiums down for consumers.