Dayton company to restore ACA insurance coverage in last Ohio county

Every U.S. county will now have options for plans on the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces next year after Dayton-based CareSource announced it would cover the last bare county.

The Medicaid managed care provider headquartered in downtown Dayton said today it will provide health insurance coverage in Paulding County on the federal exchange in 2018.

While other insurers, like notably Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, have pulled out of the exchanges, CareSource has been expanding its footprint of coverage offerings and picking up where other providers have left off. The fast-growing nonprofit with 2,200 employees anchoring downtown Dayton said in July it would offer insurance in eight other Ohio counties with no plans.

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“The marketplace provides vital health care coverage to more than 10.3 million Americans and we want to be a resource for consumers left without options,” said Pamela Morris, president and CEO of CareSource in a statement. “Our decision to offer coverage in the bare counties speaks to our mission and commitment to the Marketplace and serving those who are in need of health care coverage.”

Earlier this summer after carriers like Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced they would pull out of the state’s Health Insurance Marketplace, Ohioans in 20 counties potentially didn’t have access to plans next year. The decision by Anthem made national news, sparking debate about the long-term viability of the subsidized insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.

On July 31, the department joined five insurers, including CareSource, to announce coverage options in the other 19 counties.

“Working through this challenge has been a priority for the Department and our staff in recent weeks and I’m proud of the collaborative approach insurers have been willing to take so that we could come together and solve this problem,” Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment said in a statement. “There is a lot of uncertainty facing consumers when it comes to health insurance and these announcements will provide important relief.”

In the coming weeks, the department will work with insurers to finalize the products and rates that will be available on the exchange in 2018. The department’s review of those filings will be completed by early September and insurers must sign contracts with the federal government by late September to sell coverage on the federal exchange.

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Including Paulding County, the 20 counties where coverage has been restored are: Coshocton, Crawford, Guernsey, Hancock, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Perry, Van Wert, Vinton, Williams and Wyandot. More than 11,000 Ohioans purchase coverage through the health care exchange in those counties.

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