Ohio has a medical buy-in program for kids in families earning more than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level, or more than $42,000 for a single parent and one child.
This program is funded entirely by state General Revenue Fund dollars (no Medicaid monies) and is managed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Monies for the program were appropriated in the last biennial budget bill.
According to the JFS website,
"Ohio’s Children’s Buy-In (CBI) program is a state-funded health care program for certain uninsured children in families with income over 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Applications for CBI are now being accepted, with enrollment beginning June 1, 2008. The program was created as part of Governor Strickland’s plan to “Turnaround Ohio,” to provide more uninsured Ohioans with access to affordable health care. It is expected that 5,000 children will be enrolled in this program by June 30, 2009."
In order to be eligible, children must be younger than 19, must be a U.S. citizen and an Ohio resident, the family’s household income must be more than 300% FPL and the child must have been uninsured for the previous six months.
Additionally, the child must meet at least one of the following criteria:
* Unable to obtain insurance coverage due to a preexisting condition
* Lost the only available insurance coverage because of a lifetime benefit limitation
* Cost of the only available insurance is more than twice the premium for CBI
* Child participates in the Ohio Department of Health’s Program for Medically Handicapped Children (also known as “BCMH”)
This program requires the family to pay a monthly premium for the insurance that ranges from $250 - $500, depending on income.
Thoughts: I'm concerned about this, as my tax dollars are being used to provide health insurance for families with kids who might be able to obtian their own insurance. Not all participants are in this particular category - but some must be - otherwise they wouldn't include the criteria that the 'cost of the only available insurance is more than twice what the state charges.'
So if you can get insurance for your child, but it's expensive, the state will subsidize this for you - using my tax dollars.
I guess I go back to the issue that if I want to donate my money to people who need help with such things, I'll do so on my own. I don't need the state to take my money through taxation in order to provide charity to others.
And no, I'm not being a heartless, evil conservative. I do want to help my fellow Ohioans. I just want to do so in a different way: giving as I choose, where I choose and how I choose - rather than having my limited funds taken from me and given as politicians in Columbus choose.
Sidebar: I could not find the cost of this specific program. But I did find this analysis:
Ohio’s FY 2008-2009 budget, signed by Governor Strickland on June 30, 2007, includes several provisions that will extend access to health care to more children, including:
* Raise the Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 200% FPL.
* Raise the Medicaid/SCHIP eligibility for Ohio children from 200% FPL to 300% FPL.
* Allow Ohio children aging out of the foster care system to keep Medicaid coverage until age 21.
* Create a new program that allows uninsured children living in families with incomes over 300% FPL to buy public health coverage on a sliding fee scale.
Approximately 32,000 uninsured Ohio children could benefit from this expansion; the Administration estimates that 19,695 children will enroll during the biennium. Estimated cost is $5.6 million (all funds) in FY 2008 and $38.6 million (all funds) in FY 2009.