Thousands to benefit from Medicaid expansion in Ohio

An additional 29,000 people in Lucas County will be able to apply for Medicaid.

On Monday, a board comprised of six lawmakers and an appointee of Governor John Kasich voted to expand the Medicaid program in Ohio. The action taken by the state Controlling Board will enable an additional 275,000 state residents to apply for Medicaid.An additional 29,000 people in Lucas County will be able to apply for Medicaid according to Deb Ortiz-Flores, executive director of Lucas County Jobs & Family Services. "Those residents making up to $15,856 will be eligible," Ortiz-Flores said.

Flores credited area hospitals for leading the Medicaid expansion effort. Sara Bednarski is Director of Public Relations for Mercy Hospital."We are pleased that the Ohio Controlling Board has voted in favor of Medicaid expansion. As the front line of health care in our community, Mercy believes the expansion represents a crucial step in creating healthier communities and building a better health care system for Ohioans," Bednarski said.

The expanded Medicaid coverage begins on January 1, 2014. Eligible Lucas County residents can apply in person at the office of Jobs & Family Services which is located at 3210 Monroe St. Applications can also be submitted online.