The MetroHealth System has received the final seal of approval from federal regulators on a complex legal maneuver that could extend Medicaid coverage to as many as 30,000 people in Ohio's Cuyahoga County who otherwise couldn't pay for their healthcare.
The health system, which is subsidized by Cuyahoga County, has been working on the so-called Medicaid “waiver” since the fall of 2011. The plan would extend healthcare coverage for county residents ages 19 to 64 who are uninsured, not eligible for regular Medicaid and have an income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, which equates to $14,856 for an individual.
MetroHealth plans to start enrolling patients immediately.
“This isn't enough to cover all of our uninsured patients,” said John Corlett, MetroHealth's vice president of government relations and community affairs. “It doesn't meet the needs of everyone, but it meets the needs of a significant number of our patients.”