What Are the Best Health Insurance Options in Ohio?
Health insurance is a special financial instrument which covers the risk an individual may face due to medical expenditure; with the benefits being administered by either a private for-profit organization or a non-profit charity, or by the government itself; providing coverage of the risk either in its entirety or in a partial manner. In the United States, the most common form of health insurance is from the private insurance sector.
Types of Health Insurance in Ohio
For the residents of Ohio, the state health insurance marketplace is operated by the federal government. Residents can avail a plethora of insurance options, catering to individuals as well as families and organizations looking to provide group insurance benefits to members and employees respectively. Ohio is one of the seven states within the Union which participates in plan management, allowing only qualified health insurance plans to be sold to residents. The most common forms of insurance available within the state are:
The Affordable Care Act: The federal government runs the health insurance exchange within the state, giving residents the ability to purchase insurance from a centralized federal insurance marketplace. For those below the poverty level, the Affordable Care Act ensures financial assistance in case of medical expenses. Also, the state actively promotes health insurance among its residents, providing tax benefits for those already insured, or providing insurance for their children.
Medicaid: The Affordable Care Act extended the availability of Medicaid benefits for adults within the low-income bracket, ensuring full coverage of medical expenses to nearly 140% of the population living below the federal poverty level across the country. Medicaid provides a plethora of benefits to the eligible populace, encompassing even those incarcerated in federal prisons, senior citizens and the elderly residing in a nursing home, and those intellectually disabled and staying in intermediate facilities.
The benefits of Medicaid not only include hospice care, but also expenses incurred while availing prescription and over-the-counter medication, wellness visits to authorized physicians, substance abuse services, X-ray and pathological laboratory testing services, family planning and counseling, and chiropractic services.
Medicare: A federal health insurance program for senior citizens above the age of 65, people with End-Stage Renal Disease and children with certain disabilities; the state of Ohio provides extended facilities for Medicare. The Ohio Department for Insurance operates the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP); encompassing hot-line telephone connections, insurance experts and trained volunteers to inform and educate the populace about Medicare and its advantages.
SHOP: Allowing small-scale employers to provide healthcare insurance benefits to their employees, Ohio provides for the SHOP initiative by the federal government. The Small Business Health Options Program provides employers with less than 50 employees to extend healthcare insurance coverage in a business-friendly manner.
Private Insurance: Private insurance is the dominant provider of health insurance coverage in Ohio, for individuals who are ineligible for Medicaid. As of 2018, Ohio has ten organizations that are qualified by the state to provide health insurance coverage to residents.
Conclusion: Ohio has constantly fallen behind other states in its healthiness and is currently the 40th healthiest state in the country, according to the American Health Rankings. The state has been plagued by lower rates of child immunization, increased numbers of hospitalizations and a high infant mortality rate. On the bright side, the state has seen improved health insurance registration, with nearly a million residents gaining healthcare insurance under the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid extension.