AARP is urging Ohio lawmakers to create a health insurance exchange to expand choices and contain costs for consumers and small businesses.
Under the health care law, if a state does not create an exchange, the federal government will administer one on its behalf. The purpose is to encourage health insurance providers to compete and offer high-quality plans at the best price, while ensuring a basic level of coverage.
The voters' 2-1 rejection of the health insurance mandate last month means supporters "need to be more vigilant" against insurance industry opposition, said Ron Bridges, AARP state advocacy director. "A competitive health care marketplace in Ohio will give consumers more choices, better quality and greater control." For more information, go to aarp.org/oh.
The Cost of Care
Family caregivers in Ohio spent about 1.59 million hours last year providing care for loved ones who needed help with basic activities of daily living. These unpaid services would cost taxpayers at least $17.5 million if Medicaid picked up the tab.
"Today's family caregivers fill huge gaps in the long-term care system," said Jane Taylor, AARP state director. "We need to help families get the services they need to keep their loved ones at home, where they prefer to stay."
To support caregivers, AARP is working with Area Agencies on Aging, which provide free consultation and can link families to services available in their communities. For more information go to ohioaging.org.
AARP Ohio is encouraging voters confused about recent changes in state election laws to seek clarification from their county board of elections.
A comprehensive overhaul of the state's voting system includes provisions that significantly reduce opportunities for early in-office voting and absentee mail-in voting and reduce the number of polling places for the Nov. 8 general election.
Opponents of the law circulated petitions this summer in an effort to delay its implementation and submit the measure to Ohio voters in a 2012 referendum. The deadline for the required 231,147 valid signatures was Sept. 29.
Regardless of the outcome, the secretary of state's office will send an absentee-ballot request form to each voter registered in Ohio. Call 1-877-767-6446 toll-free to find out how to contact your county board of elections.
With thousands of Ohioans struggling to make ends meet, AARP wants members to know it's easy to help family, friends and neighbors find assistance through AARP Benefits QuickLINK. The online tool has information and applications for programs that help provide food, prescription drugs, utilities and other services for eligible individuals and households in each state.
AARP Ohio has benefits outreach volunteers who use the tool at community events or from their home computers to connect people who need assistance with public benefits programs.
To explore the tool or learn more, go to aarp.org/quicklink or call 1-877-659-0967 toll-free.