Ohio Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is a collection of laws that affect the way health insurance works in the United States. The purpose of the act is to reduce the overall cost of insurance and make coverage accessible to people who were previously uninsured, such as self-employed workers.
Due to political opposition and technical difficulties with rollout, the effect of the new laws can vary tremendously from one state to the next.
In 2012, Gov. John Kasich announced that Ohio would not run its own health insurance marketplace. Ohio residents can still purchase health insurance plans from the federal exchange at HealthCare.gov.
In all states, the ACA provides several protections. It requires all insurers to fully cover preventive care, and companies are no longer able to deny coverage to people based on pre-existing conditions. The law also sets guidelines for benefits at each price point, so insurance prices are generally consistent between companies. Finally, the government offers tax credits to help offset the cost of insurance.
In order to make these laws work, the government requires all individuals to purchase health insurance. This individual mandate states that people who don’t have insurance, through an employer or individual policy, must pay a tax penalty. The penalty is low for 2014 but will increase over the next several years.
By 2015, employers will also be required to provide health insurance to their employees if they maintain more than 50 workers.
What is a health insurance marketplace?
To make buying health insurance simple, the government has established a where individuals can compare and purchase policies. This helps boost competition between insurers, which drives down costs and makes choosing a policy simple.
Each state was given the opportunity to establish its own health insurance exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act. States that did not set up their own marketplaces, such as Ohio, instead participate in the federal exchange. To buy Ohio health insurance, you can visit HealthCare.gov to view available plans.
Once you sign up for the site during open enrollment, you’ll be asked a few basic questions about your family size, general lifestyle and income. These questions will help match you with insurance that will fit your budget; they’ll also help determine whether you qualify for a health insurance subsidy to cover the cost of insurance.
Generally, subsidies will be based on 2013 poverty level guidelines, and Medicare and CHIP qualification will be based on 2014 guidelines.
Do I qualify for a health insurance subsidy in Ohio?
Because not everyone can afford health insurance, the government has established a subsidy program to help with the cost of coverage. The subsidy amount is proportionate to income, so people who earn more will receive less assistance.
Subsidies are available to people earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. This translates to between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four and between $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual.
Ohio residents can purchase insurance from the following companies on the federal exchange:
- Buckeye Community Health Plan
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio
- Humana Health Plan of Ohio
- Medical Mutual
- Molina Healthcare
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio
- Paramount Insurance Co.
Health care for Ohio low-income families
As part of the Affordable Care Act, many states have chosen to expand Medicaid coverage to pay for health care for low-income families. Ohio is among the 27 states plus Washington, D.C., that expanded Medicaid to provide insurance coverage for more people. Adults with incomes below $1,273 per month can receive Medicaid benefits in Ohio; children whose families earn less than $1,972 per month can also receive Medicaid benefits.
Ohio health and coverage statistics
Ohio population (2013): 11,570,808
Population 65 and older (2012): 14.8 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 77.8 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 1,815,100
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 1,759,900
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 1,475,300
Overall state health ranking: 40
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
Ohio health insurance resources
Ohio Department of Health:
Ohio Department of Medicaid (and CHIP):
Ohio Department of Aging:
Kaiser Family Foundation: