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CareSource: Obamacare sign ups double in first 10 days

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 11:42 AM

FILE
FILE

CareSource reports strong sign ups the first week of open enrollment for Affordable Care Act insurance.

The uncertainty about the future of the health law, drop in federal dollars for sign up outreach and the sharp rise in the sticker price of insurance premiums do not appear to have dampened interest during the initial days of open enrollment.

Enrollment runs this year from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

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RELATED: What you need to know about Obamacare open enrollment

An official with the Dayton-based insurer that sells health plans in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia stated it had a “robust first week of open enrollment activity.”

“At this time, we are please to announce that we have doubled our total enrollment for 2018 coverage compared to the same time period last year,” stated Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market president. “Early indications are that the shorter enrollment period has not suppressed consumer interest in the Marketplace.”

Ringel said other positive signs include that in previous years more than 90 percent of those who enrolled in CareSource plans did so before the Dec. 15 deadline.

RELATED: Dayton-based CareSource expands amid uncertain times for Obamacare

In Ohio, the sticker price for premiums is up an average of 34 percent, but the actual price for some plans might be much less. 

An analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 1,540 counties a hypothetical 40-year-old making $25,000 a year can get a basic “bronze” plan under the ACA next year for zero monthly premium.

It’s partly as a result of administration actions that raised the underlying cost of insurance, leading to higher federal spending for premium subsidies. Bronze plans typically have annual deductibles of $6,000 or more but might be attractive to healthy young people.

This national reports of strong initial sign up activity for the marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Hill reported more than 200,000 people selected a plan during the first day of enrollment, compared to 100,000 last year.

This is a positive sign for the Dayton non-profit health insurer, which took a gamble this year when it expanded its offerings into new counties in Ohio and in other states at a time when other insurance companies were fleeing the exchanges.

RELATED: CareSource, Cleveland Clinic sign long-term contract

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Aetna rocked Ohio’s health insurance marketplace when the two pulled out of the exchange. Each noted how insurers couldn’t be certain that the federal government would continue to make payments to help cover the costs of insurers selling low-cost health plans. Premier Health also announced it would be leaving the exchange.

Then in August, CareSource announced it would sell insurance plans in Paulding County in 2018, restoring ACA coverage to the last bare county in the country.

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Mason urgent care center to hold open house ahead of opening

Published: Sunday, July 08, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

Premier Health will hold an open house this month for its Mason urgent care location at 7450 Mason Montgomery Road. This site is the seventh location to open across Southwest Ohio.

The Premier Health Urgent Care in Mason will have an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 21 before officially opening to patients July 23.

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The urgent care location will handle a variety of health care needs from minor illnesses such as sinus infections, earaches, allergies and pink eye to injuries such as fractured bones. Providers will also be able to conduct school and sports physicals, and administer vaccinations. Diagnostic testing for the flu, pregnancy and strep can be done on-site as well as X-rays.

The location will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. Each Premier Health Urgent Care will be staffed by local advanced practice providers, which are physician assistants and nurse practitioners who work under the close supervision of a physician.

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Patients will be able to register for an appointment time online and wait in the comfort of their own home up until the time of their appointment. Walk-in appointments will also be available through registration at self-check-in kiosks. Individuals who check-in on-site may leave to run errands while they wait for their time to arrive, and be alerted through mobile devices when their appointment is getting close so they do not run the risk of losing their spot in line.

For more information on Premier Health Urgent Care, visit www.PremierUrgentCareOH.com. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG

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Democrats appear at Good Sam for Medicaid expansion support

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Ohio House District 40 candidate Ryan Rebecca Taylor, center, speaks in front of Good Samaritan Hospital. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF WRITER
Ohio House District 40 candidate Ryan Rebecca Taylor, center, speaks in front of Good Samaritan Hospital. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF WRITER

Ohio Democrats gathered in front of Good Samaritan Hospital on Friday to advocate for Medicaid expansion support.

The Dayton hospital is poised to close 12:01 a.m. Monday, and the hospital’s emergency department has already closed.

Local Democratic candidates said erosion of Medicaid expansion could lead to more hospital closings as that burden of care covered under the state-federal insurance program instead becomes unpaid hospital bills and lost revenue.

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MORE: Listen to Good Sam final dispatch sign off for emergency room

Premier Health, which operates Good Samaritan, has said the hospital is closing because it isn’t sustainable to maintain two hospitals five miles from of each other when health care is shifting to outpatient settings and the population in Dayton is falling.

Premier did not endorse the event outside of the hospital.

Premier said in a statement following the event that the Dayton area is one of just a few large metropolitan areas in the United States that lack a public or university-operated hospital, which help cover the community cost of caring for Medicaid patients, and that combined with a “low per-capita level of local levy support for health services” underscores why area hospitals need Ohio’s Medicaid expansion to remain in place.

“However, Medicaid expansion was not a factor in the decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital’s main campus on Philadelphia Drive. Instead, Premier Health is doing its part to address the excess number of inpatient beds across the entire Dayton region,” Premier stated.

But Ohio Democrats still highlighted it Friday as a symbol of how curtailed Medicaid expansion could harm hospitals because they said it shows an example of a hospital closing and how that affects a community.

David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said Good Samaritan is “symbolic, unfortunately, of what might happen if we don’t get it right in November.”

“This November we have on the ballot a group of candidates like the candidates here today who are fighting for things like Medicaid expansion, they are fighting for people with pre-existing conditions,” he said. “On the other side we have opponents who have voted again and again against Medicaid expansion.”

MORE: What’s next? How the Good Sam ER closure will affect other area hospitals and patients

Besides Pepper, those in attendance included Ohio Senate District 5 candidate Paul Bradley, Ohio House District 40 candidate Ryan Rebecca Taylor, Ohio House District 41 candidate and Dayton Public Schools Board Vice President John McManus and Ohio House District 42 candidate Zach Dickerson.

Mike DeWine, Republican candidate for Ohio governor, recently said he would support keeping Medicaid expansion but would want reforms like work requirements.

As Ohio Attorney General, DeWine had previously challenged the Affordable Care Act and its provisions, including Medicaid expansion. His Democratic opponent, Richard Cordray, supports Medicaid expansion.

About 700,000 low income Ohioans are covered under the expansion of Medicaid.

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Harry Potter festival coming to Ohio

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

Real-Life Diagon Alley Gets Magical Holiday Touch

The magical world of Harry Potter is coming to Ohio.

Ohio-Made Getaways is hosting “A Magical Getaway: Celebrating Potter Palooza” in Lancaster on Aug. 3 and 4. Fairfield County District Library’s community-wide celebration of 20 years of Harry Potter is a two-day getaway with plenty of fun activities for wizards and muggles of all ages.

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Lancaster is less than two hours from Dayton. Guests pick up a Marauder’s Map at the visitors center at 205 W. Main St. The festival includes:

• A wizarding costume contest at the library on 2 p.m. at 219 N. Broad St.

• Wizard Rock Band Tonks & the Aurors concert at 3 p.m. at the Downtown Bandstand at 3 p.m. on Friday

• Quidditch Demonstration at Rising Park at 203 E. Fair Ave. at 10 a.m. on Saturday

• Hogwarts Herbology class, where you will create and tend to your very own magical mandrake plant to take home and watch grow

• Visit Ollivander’s Wand Shop at the First Presbyterian Church (222 N. Broad St.)

• Art and Clay offers a“Mischief Managed” dinner plate painting project with a fun and simple design

• Two Broke Artists lead a Harry Potter Youth Painting Class.

Learn more.

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Retailer at The Greene warns customers about credit card processing issue

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 8:17 AM

The Greene Town Center seen from the air

A retailer at The Greene Town Center alerted customers about an issue with transactions being processed correctly at its store.

Jake’s Toggery, a clothing retailer, sent an email to customers alerting them about an issue with their credit card processor. NCR Merchant Solutions told the retailer that transactions made at two locations of Jake’s Toggery did not process correctly.

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The two impacted stores are Jake’s Toggery at The Greene in Beavercreek and Jake’s Toggery Polaris in Columbus. If a customer made a purchase at one of these store locations from June 21 to July 17, the purchase has not shown up on their credit card statement. The retailer said NCR Merchant Solutions is working to reprocess each affected transactions, which should hit accounts soon, according to the email.

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“We recognize how concerning seeing an unrecognized or forgotten transaction from several weeks ago might be, but please rest assured that our servers and systems are secure, and that at no time would any of your information have been compromised,” the email stated.

NCR Merchant Solutions has issued the following statement: “We sincerely apologize for this issue and are hoping to get all corrected soon.”

Jake’s Toggery also has a location at the Liberty Center in Liberty Twp. 

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