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State Medicaid Director Wants Some Users To Pay Premiums

The panel of state lawmakers looking over the budget had questions during a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday about Medicaid, including about a proposal to require almost 100,000 Ohioans making above the federal poverty level to pay premiums. 

State Medicaid Director John McCarthy said the premiums will be $20 a month, which he said will teach recipients about monthly payments when they make enough money to buy insurance on the federal marketplace. 

“That then is in essence, helping the person as they move off of the program into affordable health care coverage in the exchange,” he said.

But Democratic Rep. Dan Ramos of Lorain said he’s concerned how they’ll afford that, when a study from the think tank Policy Matters Ohio that showed the budget will raise taxes on the bottom 60 percent of Ohioans.  

“How are we going to lift people up and out of poverty when this budget’s making it more expensive to be poor,” he asked.

The premiums plan doesn’t require approval from lawmakers.