State Budget Could Mean Changes For Health Insurance

by Lesley Politi on February 6, 2009

 By Denise Yost
Managing Editor,
Published: February 3, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio —Gov. Ted Strickland laid out plans for the $55 billion state budget this week, and if the budget is approved, it could change the face of health care in Ohio.

Under the new plan, Ohioans’ health care providers must raise the age of dependency on a child to 29 and coverage for employees who lose their jobs would continue to 12 months, NBC 4‘s Mikaela Hunt reported.

A piece of paper taped to the wall at Boutselis Auto Care is an everyday reminder of how much the Reynoldsburg business pays the state.

Jennie Boutselis said it can be difficult to pay employees, taxes, worker compensation premiums and health insurance.

Now, in Strickland’s budget proposal, insurance companies would have to insure dependents up to age 29.

The Ohio Small Business Association wasn’t familiar with the legislation.

“The governor wants to do a good thing. But on whose back? Who is going to pay for these things? That’s my question. Who is going to pay?“ said Ron Stake, of the Ohio Small Business Assciation.

Strickland’s office said the change may not affect businesses like Boutselis’.

If an employer chooses to pay premiums on those up to age 29, they could receive a tax deduction or they could make their employees pay the premium and that employee would get the deduction.

State officials said the goal is to make health care accessible to more people.

But small businesses said if they don’t pay, they’ll look like the bad guys.


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