Reps. West, Russo Raise Concerns About Medicaid Work Requirements To Department Director
Say implementation should be delayed until improvements are made to state's IT system for benefits
Posted January 16, 2020 by Minority Caucus
 
 

State Reps. Thomas West (D-Canton) and Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) sent a letter to Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) Director Maureen Corcoran today expressing their concerns with the implementation of Medicaid work requirements. The lawmakers’ letter comes in light of a year-end report sent by Director Corcoran to Gov. Mike DeWine detailing a variety of issues the department has dealt with over the past year, including chronic problems with the information technology system “Ohio Benefits,” utilized by both ODM and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to determine benefit eligibility.


“Given the state of the Ohio Benefits system, it would be irresponsible to take on the additional administrative burden that implementing work requirements for Medicaid would bring. We must ensure that additional eligible Ohioans do not lose their Medicaid coverage,” said West.


“I appreciate the transparency of the Administration, but we do not yet have any details on the plan to resolve these disturbing problems before the roll-out of the Medicaid work requirements,” said Russo. “At the end of the day, this is about improving the lives and well-being of vulnerable Ohioans and children. That begins by making sure our current eligibility system works the way it should, as opposed to further burdening a dysfunctional process with more red tape and administrative costs.”


Corcoran’s report identified nearly 1,100 defects that the Ohio Benefits system currently faces, which in turn have necessitated the creation of 1,765 “workarounds” to remedy these defects. Moreover, the report noted that these defects have also caused privacy issues for over 700 Medicaid members, another startling revelation with serious implications. In these and many other ways, the problems with Ohio Benefits have adversely affected Medicaid recipients and have required Medicaid staff members to spend hundreds of hours rectifying them, according to the report.

 

Related Content

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Reps. Cera And Sweeney Introduce Legislation To Grant Unemployment Benefits To Victims Of Domestic Violence

 

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) announced today the introduction of House Bill (HB) 508, legislation to allow victims of domestic violence to access unemployment benefits when that individual leaves work as the result of past or ongoing abuse.



 
 

Dems Push To Expand Ohioans' Pathway To American Dream

 

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today joined House Dem lawmakers to discuss their legislative framework to give Ohioans greater access to the tools they need to live the American Dream, including plans to strengthen public education, grow wages and expand opportunity for working people and families across Ohio. 



 
 

Dem Lawmakers Celebrate The Passage Of The PRO Act

 

State Reps. H. Gilson Blair (D-Weathersfield) and Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) celebrated the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the PRO Act, H.R. 2474 today, which would protect workers’ right to organize. The bill would give millions of workers additional protections to organize and negotiate for better pay, better benefits and safer working conditions. 



 
 

Reps. Russo And Lightbody Introduce Legislation To Protect Safe Drinking Water For Ohio's Families

 

State Reps. Allison Russo (D- Upper Arlington) and Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today announced the introduction of The Safe Drinking Water Act to guarantee safe drinking water in Ohio.  The bill provides for state-level standards for drinking water to limit known toxics and protect residents from harm.