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Ohio Medicaid expansion could save money for the state

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 | Categorized as Home Care Legislation

One of the many states in the U.S. that has yet to decide whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is Ohio. Like many other states, some politicians in Ohio have expressed concerns over whether expanding Medicaid will save the state money, or end up costing people even more. However, a recent study presented to a state Senate subcommittee shows how Ohio can save money over the long haul by expanding Medicaid

The Columbus Dispatch reported on the study, which was conducted by researchers from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio and Ohio State University's John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The findings showed that Ohio could save $200 million next year and nearly $4 billion by 2025 if the Medicaid expansion is done right. 

Explaining how to save
The study explained that the savings would come by limiting growth in Medicaid spending to 3.5 or 4 percent annually. This is in comparison to what would happen if there are no adjustments made to the Medicaid program in the state and spending grows by 7.2 percent each year, which is what has been happening over the past decade. 

"To me, that is the first fact-based analysis by any party that has shown you can lower costs, both federal and state, if you craft the right policy to get there," Republican state Senator Dave Burke of Marysville, who chairs the Senate's Medicaid subcommittee that received the report, told the Dispatch. 

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid expansion program would be paid in full over the course of the next three years. After that, federal funding for the program will never drop below 90 percent, according to the news source. This is well above the 64 percent of Medicaid costs that the federal government currently covers in Ohio, which may be one of the ways that the state can save. 

The Miami Herald also reported on this study and explained that if the state does decide to expand Medicaid, then an estimated 366,000 Ohioans would be newly eligible to receive health insurance benefits. 

The Medicaid expansion will affect every aspect of the healthcare industry, including home care. If more people gain access to Medicaid, then that may mean that more people choose to use home care services, and agencies need to have proper home care technology to help them provide the best care to these individuals. 

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