State Representative John Patrick Carney is again calling on the administration to move forward with setting up a state run Health Benefits Exchange. On Tuesday, while speaking in Bowling Green Lt. Gov. and Director of the Department of Insurance Mary Taylor made clear Gov. Kasich’s administrations intentions to neglect setting up a health insurance market place required under the Affordable Care Act. Lt. Gov. Taylor said “At this point, we are not going to set up a state-based exchange.”
“This administration and the Lt. Governor continue to put partisan politics over good policy that will benefit and protect Ohioans. They have made it clear that they believe the federal government can manage Ohio’s robust health insurance industry better than they can,” Rep. Carney said.
According to the Ohio Association of Health Plans (OAHP), Ohio is ranked 6th in the nation as a Health insurance employer. More than 46,000 people are employed in Ohio’s health insurance industry and in 2010 another 1,000 jobs were added to this sector of Ohio’s economy. Of the 34 health insuring corporations listed in the Ohio Department of Insurance’s annual report 25 are domiciled in Ohio and could potentially be excluded from participation in a federally run exchange. If these companies were to be excluded Ohio could lose out on the more that $200 million in premium taxes collected from these corporations.
“In addition to the economic blow we could suffer as a state, Ohio’s consumers would also lose out in a federally run exchange. Ohio’s plans are consistently rated above the national average in consumer satisfaction and consistently below the national average in costs. This is what the administration is choosing to give up in exchange for an applause line at political rallies.”
According to data on the OAHP’s website, 15 Ohio health plans were listed is U.S. News and World Report’s Top Health Plans rankings for Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans in 2010 and in 2011, JD Power and Associates reported that Ohio’s health plans rank three points above the national average in consumer satisfaction.
Rep. Carney introduced House Bill 412 earlier this year to establish The Ohio Health Benefit Exchange Agency with broad based support from consumers, health insurers, providers, and the business community.