Since Ohio accepted federal funds to expand Medicaid in 2014, the program has provided health insurance to more than 1 million Ohioans. It has strengthened the state’s economy and put tens of thousands of Ohioans to work. Ohio will have almost 54,000 more full and part-time jobs in 2019 than it would have had we not expanded Medicaid.
Today, Ohio’s expansion of Medicaid allows 691,803 more working-age people access to health care. A recent evaluation of the program confirmed that access to medical care resulted in improved health, including earlier diagnosis and timely treatment of chronic conditions. It reduced the need for costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations, since access to preventative care helps people manage common illnesses like diabetes, heart disease or depression. In a state with soaring drug overdose deaths, Medicaid expansion provided important new resources to treat adults with addictions.
Medicaid expansion also strengthens Ohio’s economy. It brings more than $4 billion a year into Ohio from the federal government to cover over 90 percent of the cost of care for enrollees. Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management estimates that by 2021, the federal government will put $5 billion annually into Ohio’s Medicaid expansion program. The way Ohio’s program is structured, the state cost will be just 3.2 percent of the total cost of this expansion. Once related savings in other parts of the state’s budget are accounted for, state cost will drop to just $163 million, a cost to the state of less than $300 per person for full coverage. This is a very good deal for Ohio.
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