|By John Arthur Hutchison, The News-Herald, Willoughby, Ohio|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
About 2.4 million Ohioans rely on
Palmer also cited the Ohio Medicaid Expansion Study, an independent report compiled last year by the
"The coverage effects of
The report predicted the greatest numbers of people added would come from the most populous counties. The counties of southeast
"I think the people who have gotten their coverage are incredibly happy," said
"Now all of those people that for years we've been saying no, no, no, no, no, there's nothing for you -- there's finally something for them," Jones said. "That's been nice."
Lifeline client programs for prescription assistance and diabetic supplies no longer will need federal grant dollars to pay for a portion of the costs because there will be less demand for these services since more people have health insurance, Dotson said.
"We, of course, were thrilled about the expansion because more of our clients will have health care," she said. "We have a lot of clients who don't work because they're not healthy and when you don't have insurance you don't have a primary care physician, so they don't have preventative care. Hopefully they can get back to work or school or whatever they want to do."
Lifeline employees also have been trained to help provide clients assistance to apply online for
The first official monthly report for enrollment is due in mid-February, said
There were national headlines in the last quarter of 2013 when people encountered difficulties signing up for health insurance through the new https://www.healthcare.gov/ website.
"We've had a pretty smooth start," he said. "We're not immune to glitches by any means, but we're confident we'll be able to handle this expeditiously."
Some Ohioans have applied for
"Most people apply online," Shope said. "It's the easiest way and it's what we recommend."
Eventually www.healthcare.gov will interface with state networks so if someone applies for
The transition has caused some frustration, but some entities such as community health centers, faith-based groups, local health departments and hospitals also are making efforts to educate people, said
"Any time there's a program that comes online, there's always a ramp-up period," Wachtel said. "That's why the message really is, if
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