Insurers agree to cover Ohio counties with no ACA plans

Written on Aug 10, 2017

Five insurers have reached an agreement with the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) to sell individual health plans in 19 of 20 counties that otherwise would have had no 2018 offerings on the subsidized federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

The lightly populated counties were left without an insurer on the so-called exchange when Anthem Inc. announced it was pulling out of the ACA market in Ohio. About 11,000 Ohioans had purchased individual plans in those counties, out of more than 200,000 statewide.

ODI worked with remaining insurers to divide up the counties. Only Paulding County in western Ohio still lacks an insurer on the exchange, but ODI said it's working on the issue.

Four of the five companies also manage Medicaid plans for the state and started selling private plans in recent years to accommodate enrollees whose income fluctuates in and out of Medicaid eligibility. The fifth, Cleveland-based Medical Mutual of Ohio, is an entirely private carrier.

Here's how the companies divided the counties:

  • Buckeye Health Plan of Ohio (subsidiary of St. Louis, Missouri-based Centene Corp.): Harrison, Logan and Van Wert.
  • CareSource, Dayton: Guernsey, Jackson, Lawrence, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perr and Vinton.
  • Medical Mutual of Ohio: Crawford, Knox, Hocking and Hancock.
  • Molina Healthcare Inc., of Long Beach, California: Coshocton, Hancock and Holmes.
  • Paramount Health Care (subsidiary of Toledo-based ProMedica Health System): Williams and Wyandot.

Overall, Buckeye Health Plan is tripling its ACA coverage area to 27 counties next year.

The announcement leaves Nevada with the largest bare spots on the exchange for next year.

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