How to Get Private Health Insurance in Ohio
Ten insurers provide 2020 coverage through the Ohio health insurance marketplace; short-term health insurance coverage can be sold with terms up to one year.
Health Insurance Marketplace in Ohio
Ohio has a federally facilitated exchange, meaning residents in Ohio use HealthCare.gov to enroll in private health insurance plans. But Ohio is one of seven states that takes part in plan management and the qualified health plan (QHP) certification process.
Open Enrollment Period and Dates in Ohio
Open enrollment in Ohio for 2020 individual-market coverage (on- and off-exchange) is over. Outside of the open enrollment window, Ohio people must have a qualifying event to buy regular medical coverage. The next open enrollment period for health insurance coverages effective in 2021 will begin November 1, 2020.
During the open enrollment for 2020 coverage, 196,806 Ohio residents enrolled in individual-market coverage through the state’s exchange, down about 19 percent from 2016, when almost 244,000 individuals enrolled. In many states that use HealthCare.gov, enrollment peaked in 2016 and has declined since then.
This is as a result of a variety of factors and increasing premiums for people who do not qualify for premium subsidies, confusion about the legal status of the Affordable Care Act (due to GOP efforts to repeal the law through legislation and court cases), the expansion of short-term health insurance plans, and the elimination of the individual mandate penalty at the end of 2018.
Insurance Companies in the Ohio Health Insurance Exchange
For 2020, ten health insurance companies are offering plans in Ohio’s exchange, and almost all of the state’s residents can choose from among at least two health insurance companies in the exchange. In 2018, people in 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties had only one available health insurance carrier. That dropped to 16 counties in 2019, and thanks to coverage area expansions, Logan County is the only part of the state where just a single insurer provides exchange plans for 2020.
The insurers providing plans in Ohio’s exchange for 2020 comprise:
- Ambetter (Buckeye Community Health Plan)
- CareSource (health insurance plans were offered in 60 counties in 2019. CareSource’s 2020 filing signifies a coverage area expansion but doesn’t clarify the details)
- Community Insurance Company (Anthem BCBS) (rejoined the marketplace as of 29, after exiting at the end of 2017)
- Medical Health Insuring Corporation of Ohio (Medical Mutual)
- Molina (expanding coverage area to a sum of 39 counties in 2020)
- Oscar Buckeye State Insurance Corporation (found in the Columbus and Cleveland metro areas)
- Oscar Insurance Corporation of Ohio
The Expansion of Medicaid Plans in Ohio
Ohio’s acceptance of federal funding to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of poverty has played a great role in the state’s success with Obamacare.
Between 2013 and July 2018, the state saw an increase of over 600,000 individuals covered by Medicaid and CHIP. By late 2019, nevertheless, the net increase in Medicaid/CHIP enrollment in Ohio had dropped to under 500,000 individuals. (In many states, Medicaid enrollment grew sharply for about two years after the expansion was implemented, and then plateaued; in some instances, it has declined since then due to changes in the way a state verifies eligibility, enhancing economic conditions in the state, etc.).
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans
The Trump administration relaxed the federal rules regarding short-term health insurance plans in 2018, allowing them to have much longer durations, as well as extensive renewals. But the new guidelines are clear in noting that states can impose stricter guidelines. Ohio permits short-term health insurance plans to have terms of up to 364 days, but renewals are prohibited.
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