A little-known, planned change to the Ohio Medicaid open enrollment process would threaten health care choices for current Medicaid enrollees and would lead to bad health outcomes on an enormous scale. Under the planned change, the Ohio Department of Medicaid would reassign Medicaid plans by requiring all three-million-plus Medicaid members in our state to pick a plan during open enrollment. If they don’t actively select a plan, they would be put into one by the government. It could be different from their current plan, even if they like the plan and their doctor. This would be a change from the current system, which allows Medicaid members to keep their plan without taking action, or change it if they want to.
Medicaid provides health coverage to Ohio’s most underserved and vulnerable populations. There is no reason they should bear the brunt of a misguided government experiment. Instead, the Ohio Department of Medicaid should stick with what works within Medicaid, including the open enrollment process, while working to improve Medicaid in ways that actually improve access and health outcomes.
Pastor Keith McDevitt, Grace United Church of Christ
This article originally appeared on Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: Letter to the Editor