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Coronavirus In Ohio: Medicaid Caseloads And Spending Go Up

Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran says former Gov. of Ohio John Kasich created big problems the agency is facing.
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran.

After three months of declines, Ohio took in 8% more in taxes than the Office of Budget and Management estimated, though much of that is connected to the delay of the tax deadline to July 15. But there was a different kind of growth in the state’s July reportthat could be concerning.

Enrollment in Medicaid was up 6.7% over estimates, and Medicaid spending increased 12% over June.

Former Ohio Medicaid director John Corlett – who’s now with the Center for Community Solutions – says the caseload growth seems manageable, but it’s something to watch if COVID-19 infections spike and businesses shut down.

“Medicaid caseload growth tends to lag other indicators, like food stamp cases are up to a larger extent than Medicaid, because... people need that help immediately," Corlett said.

Corlett says the majority of new Medicaid costs are being borne by the federal government, which he says is critical because states need help covering these costs. 

Just over 3 million Ohioans are now receiving Medicaid coverage.

The state cut $775 million from the budget at the end of the fiscal year that ended June 30, with $210 million coming from the Medicaid budget.