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Check Medicaid, health care coverage

Access to health care — doctors, health screenings, prescription drugs and hospitals — is critically important for all Ohioans.

Health insurance through employers, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid helps make sure people of all ages and in every corner of the state can get this crucial coverage. More than 3 million Ohioans currently receive health care through Medicaid, the joint federal and state program that provides health coverage for low-income households.

To ensure people didn’t go without health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid was operating under a Public Health Emergency to make sure that people with Medicaid health plans could keep coverage even if eligibility had changed.

But the Public Health Emergency has ended, and Medicaid eligibility checks, called renewals, have restarted. This means people covered by Medicaid must act to keep their coverage or find a new health plan.

Many people enrolled in Ohio Medicaid may not be aware their coverage could end, or may have ended already. In Ohio and around the country, millions of people have lost Medicaid coverage but haven’t yet found other health insurance.

As physicians and health plan representatives, we work every day to improve health outcomes and access to affordable care, and that means ensuring the patients and communities we serve have access to health coverage. We want to make sure people currently receiving Medicaid know how to verify their eligibility, and if needed find the right affordable health insurance coverage.

The State of Ohio and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio have resources to help people easily understand their options and access the coverage that meets their needs.

The Ohio Department of Medicaid offers information and advice about renewal on their website at Medicaid.Ohio.gov or call their hotline at 800-324-8680.

MyHealthBenefitFinder.com is a self-service tool from Anthem allowing anyone to answer a few simple questions and get information to help them understand the types of health coverage they may be eligible for. The tool then provides clear steps on how to access that coverage. Anthem also offers a dedicated call center for those who have questions about navigating the Medicaid renewal process. Call 1-855-690-7784 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Health Care.gov provides information, quick start guides and connections to healthcare navigators and brokers in your community.

Good health means being able to access necessary health care. It’s so important for Ohioans of all ages and situations to make sure they have the coverage they need to take care of their health.

For Ohioans on Medicaid, this means checking your coverage, and if you no longer qualify for Medicaid or don’t have employer-based health insurance, take steps to make sure you and your family have affordable access to care.

As we start the new year, the Ohio State Medical Association and Anthem urge you to check on your health coverage, and check in on your family and friends.

Here’s to a safe and healthy 2024.

Dr. Eric Drobny is a practicing emergency medicine physician and serves as president of the Ohio State Medical Association. Dr. Antonio Perez is the chief medical officer for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio.

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