Most Ohioans who have health insurance are covered by either employer based plans or government programs. What options are available for individuals who do not have access to such coverage? Ohio Department of Insurance Director, Ann Womer Benjamin, references the “increasing number of options with Health Savings Accounts. There may be a person, or a family, generally comfortable paying for health care costs, but wants a high deductible policy. Also, for fairly young, fairly healthy individuals, an HSA coupled with a High Deductible Health Plan could really work.”
Health Savings Accounts are not feasible for everyone. Ohio residents who are not interested in HSAs should try to take advantage of alternative plans and programs. “Ohio has an Open Enrollment Program that takes (cbdrumourcom) regardless of pre-existing conditions, but is likely costly”, Womer Benjamin explains.
HEALTH CARE COVERAGE LEGISLATION
There are currently two bills in the Ohio Legislature, Senate Bill 272 and House Bill 5 / Senate Bill 5 that are generally supported by the Ohio Department of Insurance as methods of expanding access to health insurance coverage.
Senate Bill 272 would repeal the Open Enrollment Program, as well as the Open Enrollment Reinsurance Program. In its place, the Ohio Health Insurance Risk Pool would be created to provide health care coverage to individuals who are unable to obtain affordable health care coverage in any other manner. This would eliminate the annual periods of open enrollment that sickness and accident insurers, health insurance corporations, and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) are currently required to hold. “The Ohio Health Insurance Risk Pool would provide a state fund for those without health insurance coverage. We would support this concept and have various suggestions for funding. We would theoretically be able to reach ten times more individuals than the Open Enrollment Program does currently”, says Womer Benjamin.
House Bill 5 / Senate Bill 5 would permit small employers to offer health care plans that do not provide benefits otherwise required by law. The bill provides for the operation of health savings accounts that are consistent with federal law, and places a limit on an insured’s liability for co-payments and deductibles under a health benefit plan. ODI Director Womer Benjamin asserts that the bill “would provide more options for small businesses, and we are hopeful that that will pass”.