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OH puts health exchange in federal government’s hands

Last week, state officials notified the Obama administration Ohio will not set up its own health insurance exchange, leaving the job to the federal government.

Governor John Kasich’s press secretary Rob Nichols cited high costs, little adjustability in operating an exchange and not enough federal guidance as the reasons for its decision, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

“Ohio would have no flexibility to shape an exchange to our needs, and its costs will be so high that it just doesn’t make sense for the state to operate a health exchange under ‘Obamacare,'” Nichols said. “We’re going to leave it to the federal government.”

He told the paper Ohio officials will meanwhile focus on making health insurance markets within the state as stable and competitive as possible. State officials said they’d continue to regulate insurers that participate in the benefits exchange.

While some Ohio lawmakers are applauding Kasich’s decision, others are urging him to reconsider. According to The Columbus Dispatch, two house representatives said they’ve established a compromise with insurers, physicians, hospitals and other large actors for a state-run exchange. In a letter sent to Kasich, representatives John Carney and Nickie Antonio wrote a federally-run system will not benefit Ohio citizens. Rather, state officials and health experts, who know the state’s healthcare market, should be making the decisions.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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