Guest Column From State Representative Mike Henne
Healthy Ohio Plan Increases Health Care Freedom
September 30, 2015
[ Michael Henne Home | Michael Henne Press ]

When it comes to making health care better in our state, we must focus on improving the quality of care, driving down costs, and increasing Ohioans’ control over their health care choices. I am pleased to report that a provision in the recently passed state operating budget called the Healthy Ohio Plan is an important step in accomplishing these goals. The Healthy Ohio Plan requires the Director of Medicaid to seek a federal waiver to enroll non-disabled adults in a program similar to health care savings accounts.

This program will be low-cost to participants, with a maximum monthly contribution of $8.25, but many participants will pay even less based on a sliding scale of two percent of income. These minimal contributions will earn participants an additional $1,000 per year in their account, which carries over year-to-year, with an eventual cap of $10,000.

Participants will be issued a debit card and an account with points that will be subtracted for health care expenses and added for healthy outcomes like losing weight or quitting smoking. If participants need preventative care and have enough points in their account at the end of the year, they can use these points to pay for the required premium­s the next year. This program is an improvement to the Medicaid system because it allows Ohioans greater control over their health care choices, as well as incentives to create better health care outcomes.

The Healthy Ohio Plan was modeled on a similar program in Indiana, which improved healthcare delivery for participants in the program. I believe that the Healthy Ohio Plan will bring a higher quality of care and lower costs to Ohioans, while also increasing the control that participants in the program have over their health care decisions. If you have questions about the Healthy Ohio Plan, or any other state government related issue, I encourage you to contact my office.

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