News
7:50 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Medicaid Numbers Are Up, Uninsured Are Down Significantly

When Ohio expanded Medicaid last fall, Governor John Kasich estimated as many as 330 thousand more people would take advantage. 

A new survey -- and a separate study -- indicate that may be coming true. ML Schultze of member station WKSU in Kent reports.

The Ohio Hospital Association surveyed 130 hospitals and about half responded. About four-in-10 said they are seeing fewer patients with no insurance. More than two-thirds said they’re seeing more patients covered by Medicaid.  

The survey covered roughly the first four months since Gov. Kasich forced through the expansion of Medicaid over the objections of fellow Republicans in the Ohio Legislature.

Hospital Association spokesman John Palmer says this survey was a quick – unaudited – look at what’s happening. Next comes an examination of why.

“We did see that there was a shift in that preliminary finding from uninsured to the Medicaid side. And so we’ll continue to watch that trend as we go into the fall and as Medicaid eligibility and enrolles continue to get coverage and get those services applied to them.survey gave an early look at what’s happening.”

Meanwhile, a study by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looked at the impact of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion on Columbus and 13 other cities. Among the seven where Medicaid expanded, it estimates the rate of people with no health insurance will be cut more than in half by 2016.

Hospitals often have to write-off care for people who have no insurance.