Medicaid spend-down now easier to manage

Speaking of Medicaid (see below post), we are excited to offer a new opportunity to our Medicaid recipients.

Some of our recipients must meet “spend down” requirements. To learn more about that, check out this fact sheet: http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/Buttons/Clients_Customers/Health_Services/PDF/HCJFS7963UnderstandingSpenddown.pdf

As of this week, Medicaid customers and providers may scan and e-mail spend-down information to the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services at SpendDownPointOfContact@jfs.hamilton-co.org.

Any time customers incur a medical bill that can be applied to their monthly spend-down, they may scan and e-mail it. The customer or provider may only use this process for the “incurred” method of meeting their spend-down. Pay-in spend-downs must still flow through the agency’s fiscal office.

This should make it easier for people to do business with us. At a time when our lobbies are overflowing and our phone lines are jammed, we are doing everything we can to make it easier for people to access us.

Medicaid Outreach Program Underway

Yesterday, I attended a press conference announcing an effort to enroll eligible Hamilton County residents in Medicaid. The Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati is leading the effort and we are helping with enrollment efforts.

The “Covering Kids and Families” campaign aims to enroll 1,800 eligible children and teens in nine Southwest Ohio counties, including Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties. There are an estimated 18,000 uninsured children and teens in the nine-county area.

Hamilton County has more than 140,000 recipients of Medicaid at this time, which is about one in 6 county residents.

Medicaid is a public health care program funded by the state and federal government that provides necessary health care coverage to certain individuals with limited income. To be eligible, a person must:

— Be a U.S. citizen or meet Medicaid citizenship requirements
— Have or obtain a social security number
— Meet financial eligibility requirements

In Ohio, someone is entitled to Medicaid coverage for free or at a low-cost if they meet specific income and eligibility requirements. This is generally 90 percent of the federal poverty level for families (about $20,000 for family of 4) and 200 percent of the poverty level for pregnant women or children to age 19 (about $44,000 for family of 4).

Here’s an Enquirer story on the press conference: http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20100315/NEWS0108/3160325/

Discussions spur creativity, collaboration

Lately, I have been asked to talk to several groups about the work we do here at JFS. Today, I am speaking to a Leadership Cincinnati class. Tomorrow, a group of leaders at the Urban League.

I always enjoy the opportunity to spread the word about the work we do. Unfortunately, with the economy the way it has been, it is not always good news. We are experiencing a time when our agency and the community providers who work with us have more demand than supply.

But these discussions are the perfect time to hit on new ideas. Creativity can lead to progress. I appreciate the opportunity to brainstorm as we find solutions to make better tomorrows for the citizens of Hamilton County.