Ohio to let feds run online health marketplace
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio officials on Thursday confirmed the state's intentions not to run its own health insurance exchange but, instead, have the federal government operate the new online marketplace under President Obama's health care law.
A letter sent to the Obama administration reiterates what Republican Gov. John Kasich told federal officials in November — that Ohio will keep its authority to regulate health plans in and out of the exchange, but leave running it to the federal government.
Exchanges can be run by the states, the federal government, or a state-federal partnership.
Consumers can get private health insurance, subsidized by the government, through the online health insurance marketplaces in each state. Small businesses will have access to their own exchanges. Open enrollment starts Oct. 1, and coverage takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
The federal government initially instructed Ohio officials to submit a more detailed blueprint of its plan, which is required of those pursing a federal-state partnership. But recent conversations between officials clarified that Ohio no longer fit into that category.
Kasich told the Obama administration in a Nov. 16 letter that setting up a state-based exchange is too costly and states have little control over how to operate exchanges.
“Regardless of who runs an exchange, the end product is the same,” he said at the time.
The state's letter on Thursday to Gary Cohen of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services restates Ohio's intentions to let the federal government be responsible for the exchange.
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who is also the director of the state's insurance department, stipulated in the letter that Ohio would have regulatory authority over the insurance business in Ohio as well as the capacity to oversee the certification of qualified health plans.
She said the department would continue to collect and analyze information on plan rates, covered benefits, and cost-sharing requirements. It would also ensure ongoing plan compliance and resolve consumer complaints.
“Continuing this regulation at the state level, as Ohio has done for decades, will preserve the high quality oversight of the industry for which Ohio is known, and also help provide stability to our state's insurance market at this time of considerable volatility,” Taylor wrote.
Kasich has decided to proceed with another key part of Obama's law: expanding Medicaid coverage for more low-income Ohioans.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Baltimore gets bloodier as arrests drop post-riots
- Former GOP House Speaker Hastert indicted in banking violation
- California man beaten by deputies on video faces charges
- Health care law’s supporters encounter resistance from federal judge
- North Carolina governor to veto marriage abstention bill
- Justice Department seeks info on medical scope in superbug outbreaks
- FCC wants to extend $1.7B phone subsidy to broadband
- Driver’s license ban for immigrant children ends in Nebraska
- Dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded after all
- Historic Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse moves inland
- Texas rivers threaten cities downstream