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Ohioans Await Health Care Guidance

Consumers, small businesses and non-profits are preparing for more change as provisions of the 2010 federal health care law take effect. Individuals and groups have a lot of question about what the new law will mean for them. The federal health care law passed by congress extends coverage to formerly uninsured Americans, including an estimated one and half million in Ohio. The law is being implemented over a 4 -year period, and some specific rules are still being written by federal agencies.  That's not to mention legal challenges which are working their way toward the Supreme Court. Denny Recker is a spokesman for the Ohio Association of Health Underwriters. At a meeting in Columbus, he said the industry wants guidance on required insurance exchanges that will allow businesses and consumers to shop for health care beginning in 2014. "We're very concerned that Ohioans have the input or how the Ohio exchange will look  and how it will be created rather than defer that to the federal government, so that's a very big concern of ours." Says Recker. At the non-profit agency, Recreation Unlimited in Ashley, Ohio, Cynthia Wuellner  says she has one main worry about pending health care changes. "One of the concerns we have is to make sure our employees can afford the coverage in the future, the health care coverage." Wuellner says Recreation Unlimited employs 12 people and seven of them purchase health insurance through the agency. "We have coverage for this coming year and we review it every year to find out whether we can continue coverage or whether we have to change the part the company pays or the part the employee pays." Says Wuellner. But, Wuellner and others will have to wait for answers to their health care coverage questions as the legal appeals proceed. Tom Borgerding WOSU News