The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the State of Ohio has awarded Medical Mutual of Ohio to run a temporary program to provide health insurance coverage to Ohioans who cannot qualify or afford health insurance due to having a pre-existing condition. 

Assuming approval by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the program will start in August, a state insurance department spokeswoman said, and run until 2014, when broader federal health reforms kick in. Participants will have access to Medical Mutual’s network of doctors and providers, “the largest in the state,” said Medical Mutual’s Ed Byers.

To qualify, participants must have pre-existing medical conditions that make health insurance exorbitantly expensive. They also must have gone without insurance for six months or longer.

To help compensate Medical Mutual for the higher medical expenses, a $152 million subsidy will come from Washington through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health care bill passed by congressional Democrats and signed by President Barack Obama in March.

Participants in the program will have to pay the market rate for individual policies of Ohioans without such pre-existing conditions.  Ohio’s high-risk health insurance pool is funded entirely with federal funds appropriated in the health insurance reform law passed by Congress earlier this year.

And Rob Portman would vote to repeal this program and add thousands of Ohioans, including children, back on the rolls of the uninsured.  So would Steve Stivers, Steve Chabot, and every other Republican candidate for Congress.

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  • mvirenicus

    Yeah. Reform. This represents about a .1% incremental improvement in the overall scheme of things. The average working-class person can't afford “market rates” for a respectable health plan offered by the insurance industry. The day will come when americans are forced to admit that capitalism is not only unjust but irrational and do something about it, but that something won't come thru the ballot box. The people who have a vested interest in this system had better wake up soon or someone else will do the waking in a very unfriendly manner.

  • Anastasjoy

    You forgot to mention pander king Mikey DeWhiny, who has pledged to file suit to repeal the health-care bill on his first day in office as attorney general.

  • Pingback: Insurance Pools Readied in Some States – New York Times()

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