Tucked away in Ohio's 2009 operating budget (HB 1) are health care reforms provisions intended to directly decrease the number of uninsured in the state while increasing the number of small businesses that provide employee health insurance.
The state’s Department of Insurance says "These recent law changes will provide health insurance access for more than 109,000 Ohioans over the next three years, the initial reforms including a rate-cap on individual coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions; increasing the dependent age coverage limit to 28 years old; soon mandating small employers permit business workers to purchase health coverage with pre-tax dollars; and extending the state’s mini-COBRA program so small business employees can maintain health benefits for themselves and their family in the event they become unemployed." (See Department’s site for more information )
Part of Ohio's new health care law, which takes effect July 1st., allows young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance until they turn 28, even though the companies are exempt, making Ohio one of the few states to exceed the extension to age 26 mandated by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, articles on USAToday reported this morning.
"Young adults have one of the highest uninsured rates, often because they can't find jobs or because employers don't offer health coverage for entry-level positions., the article said, adding that “while broad, Ohio's new benefit won't help children whose parents work at private, self-insured companies that pay their workers' medical claims directly rather than buy insurance. These firms, including Procter & Gamble Co. and Honda Motor Co., fall outside state regulation."
The Toledo Blade, this morning, also notes Gov. Ted Strickland’s having signed into law a bill that would use 40 medical practices across Ohio as a laboratory to test whether a streamlined system of health care can raise efficiency and reduce costs. ( HB 198 )