Concern Over the Well-Being of Ohio’s Elderly and Poor

Bad news for Ohio’s seniors. More and more of our seniors are unable to maintain the delicate balance affording to eat, buy medication, and pay their bills.

And it is about to get worse.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the state of Ohio ranks first amongst the Midwest and 12th in the nation in lack of healthy food available. A recent, combined report by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities states that more than 385,000 elderly Ohioans are at risk for hunger.

With government cuts, hot meals for the elderly and the disabled have been cut from five days a week. The elderly are reluctant to take from poor families and rely more and more on Food Banks, which are also having problems keeping stocks high enough to feed people. Disabled, low-income and minority seniors were at the greatest risk, as were those with grandchildren living with them, the report found.

Part of the declining support is that seniors are living longer and more are needing help. Research has found that those who start going to food banks will continue to utilize the service until they become incapacitated or pass on.

To make matters even more severe, the Ohio House introduced a budget bill that will cut Medicaid to thousands of seniors. The House plan was driven in large part by continued concern over Gov. John Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid last year and a desire to make beneficiaries personally responsible in some way for their health coverage.

The governor’s budget included a plan to charge premiums to adult Medicaid recipients with incomes above 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Charges would be on a sliding scale based on income. Children would be excluded.

Currently, the bill has gone to the Senate who will decide the fate of the 3 million poor, disabled and elderly Ohioans. The bill will then go on to the governor to sign.

If you have any questions or concerns about Medicaid or access to food for the elderly in Ohio, please contact the Kabb Law Firm at 216. 991. KABB (5222).