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Ohio Medicaid enrollment dropped 250k in past two years

Ohio’s Medicaid enrollment has declined more than 8% in the past two years, raising questions about whether the more than 250,000 former beneficiaries have become uninsured or found other health coverage (Source: “250,000 fewer Ohioans are on Medicaid, but even the experts don’t know why,” Columbus Dispatch, July 30, 2019).

According to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, Medicaid enrollment has fallen in 23 of the past 24 months. More than three fourths of those leaving the rolls were adults while the rest, some 60,000, were children.

A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found Ohio had the fourth highest drop in the nation in 2018, behind Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas.

Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran points to a couple of reasons enrollment has declined: an improving economy, and “systems issues,” including a sometimes-clumsy computerized renewal process that beneficiaries must complete every year to maintain coverage.

Health policy analysts say a better economy may be contributing to, but cannot account, for such a sharp decline. They believe the primary cause is a time-consuming sign-up and renewal process, which has drawn federal scrutiny, and a reduction of enrollment assistance.