Patient advocates and providers hope their comments and stories will influence a controversial proposed overhaul of Ohio's Medicaid expansion.
Former GOP presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich wants to move Ohio to a more conservative approach to Medicaid expansion, allowing the program to drop adult beneficiaries who don't pay into a health savings account, regardless of their income.
Another provision would eliminate 90-day retroactive coverage for Medicaid beneficiaries. That could be particularly painful for hospitals, according to Cleveland-based Human Arc, a consulting firm that advises hospitals in the state on spending issues. The change could cost hospitals as much as $2.5 billion over the course of the five-year waiver, the firm estimated.
More than 600,000 people have joined Medicaid since the state expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act in 2013.
Patient advocates have been universally against the proposal. Equitas Health, a community health system focused on HIV and LGBTQ healthcare, fears disruptions to care could occur if the waiver is approved as-is.
“Due to HIV's high mutation rate, even minor interruptions in the medication regimen can lead to drug resistance, which results in increased viral replication, fewer treatment options, higher transmission rates, reduced functioning of the immune system, higher opportunistic infections,” the center says in a letter.
Comments on the state's proposed Medicaid overhaul are due May 16.