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Ohio committee advances bill on Medicaid waivers for family of active duty military

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The Ohio House Health Committee advanced legislation that ensures that eligible family members of active duty military will have access to Medicaid waivers. The legislation has been recommended to the House Rules and Reference Committee.

Under House Bill 287, if the immediate family member of an active duty military member was receiving home- or community-based services through a Medicaid waiver, and then that person is transferred to Ohio, that person will have access to that in Ohio. It requires that all Medicaid waiver components within the state reserve participant capacity for such individuals.

Immediate family members include a military member’s spouse, child or any person under his or her legal guardianship.

Rep. Randi Clites, D-Ravenna, said during the committee hearing that many military families have had to deal with “the long, sometimes even lifelong, wait and financial burdens that families have to endure to get into the waiver system in Ohio.”

“After the reset waiver rule change, to make sure a family is assessed to see if the child has a need, that will have to be addressed within a year,” Clites said. “It has provided a clearer pathway into the counties to have a better system in place to plan for the most vital needs of our children in their community.”

Clites said the problems do not just extend to military families and that the Legislature needs to address the waiver system more comprehensively.

Rep. Allison Russo, D-Columbus, who was one of the primary sponsors of the legislation, echoed what Clites said, encouraging the state to provide better support for all Ohioans with disabilities and shorten waiting lists.

The bill passed the committee unanimously in a Tuesday vote.