Beatty Urges Reasonable Approach on Ohio Medicaid Income Verification Process
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) recently sent a letter to Ohio Governor John Kasich urging his administration to allow additional time for individuals receiving Medicaid to report verification of their income to the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Congresswoman Beatty’s letter is in response to a flawed execution of the income verification notifications that may result in a loss of health care coverage. Reportedly, as many as 25-30 percent of eligible recipients did not receive the letters and many lack access to the online verification system. Beatty urged Governor Kasich to reconsider the decision to terminate Medicaid for the thousands of families in the Third Congressional District and throughout Ohio impacted by the flawed process.
The text of the letter follows:
Governor John Kasich
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6117
Dear Governor Kasich,
Ohio’s expansion of Medicaid has provided access to healthcare for many Ohioans who were previously underinsured and uninsured. Partly due to the Medicaid expansion, nearly 2.9 million Ohioans now receive Medicaid. Last week, the Ohio Department of Medicaid sent notifications to 107,000 Medicaid recipients informing them that their health-care benefits will be terminated effective February 28, 2015 due to a failure to verify their income. An additional 140,000 recipients are scheduled to receive termination notices this week, and 100,000 more are scheduled to receive termination notices in March. However, notifications sent to some Medicaid recipients failed to be successfully delivered—between 25-30 percent of these notifications have been returned as undeliverable. These delivery failures may cause families of the Third Congressional District and other Ohioans to unfairly lose their health coverage.
As your actions have demonstrated, Ohio’s expansion of Medicaid has made access to care possible for so many of our families, while ensuring proper procedures and protocols are followed. However, the execution of the recent verification process seems to be flawed. Repeatedly, it seems that in many instances the lack of response is not necessarily due to the individual’s actions, but rather the availability to respond. Providing additional time for response will allow issues, such as undeliverable mail correspondence, to be resolved by updating addresses and forwarding notices, while allowing for families to gather the necessary information to report verification of their income in compliance with the mandate.
The burden to these individuals and families of reapplying for benefits without retroactive coverage will cause great hardship for many Ohioans. Accordingly, the harm of foregoing an extension to report income will greatly outweigh the benefit of indiscriminately terminating health care coverage at the end of this month.
I strongly urge you to allow additional time for individuals to report verification of their income to the Ohio Department of Medicaid. I encourage you to reconsider the decision to terminate Medicaid for the thousands of families impacted by the new renewal notifications system. Thank you in advance for your consideration. Given the urgency, I would appreciate a prompt response by February 20, 2015.
Member of Congress, OH-03