DeWine announces when overhauled Ohio Medicaid system projected to start

FILE
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FILE

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The new Ohio Department of Medicaid system is projected go live July 2022, overhauling the health insurance program that covers more than 3 million residents.

The DeWine administration has been overhauling the rules of the state-federal insurance program and rewriting how the program spends more than $20 billion annually.

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“Our priority since the beginning of this administration has been on doing this right for the people we serve,” Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran said in an announcement Wednesday afternoon. “A July 2022 go-live gives us time to support and inform our members about the new program, to work with community leaders, and respond to the feedback received from the plans and providers.”

The new system places new responsibilities on the insurance companies who manage the benefits of people enrolled in the program, who will be held responsible to oversee the coordination of care, ensure access to services, and confirm community resources are understood and available to members.

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The goals of the sweeping reforms range from stopping parents from having to give up custody when they can’t afford their child’s mental health care, slashing provider paperwork hassle and implementing long-demanded pharmacy reforms.

The DeWine administration said a July launch gives time the time needed to test and validate systems and processes to ensure readiness prior to going live.

This is moved from the original targeted date of January 2022, but the administration said COVID-19 set it back.

The insurers selected to be a part of the new system include Dayton-based CareSource, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Molina, AmeriHealth Caritas, Buckeye Health Plan and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Buckeye’s application had been pending but was just added earlier this month to the program, after the company settled with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for $88 million. Buckeye’s parent Centene didn’t admit to doing anything wrong, but had been accused of keeping a larger cut of the state’s money than it should have when paying for pharmacy benefits.

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