Feds reject Ohio’s request to charge new Medicaid fees

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federal regulators have rejected a state request to charge new premiums to Ohioans on Medicaid.

House Republicans had inserted plans for the so-called Healthy Ohio Program into the state budget last year. The proposal sought to require certain adults in Medicaid to pay into a health-savings account to help cover their medical expenses.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected the state’s plan on Friday. In a letter, the agency says it is concerned that charging new premiums, regardless of income, would undermine access to coverage for low-income beneficiaries.

The state had estimated that between 125,000 and 140,000 people could drop their coverage or choose not to enroll.

Backers have pointed to the plan’s incentives to get Medicaid beneficiaries to take healthier steps, such as seeking preventative care.

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