As students return to classrooms in the fall, Ohio’s Medicaid managed care plans expanded their $100 incentive for getting a first COVID-19 shot to child members age 12 and older.
“Getting students 12 and up vaccinated will provide peace of mind to parents, caregivers and educators,” said Kelly O’Reilly, CEO of the Ohio Association of Health Plans, in a statement. “Vaccination is the surest way to protect teens against COVID-19.”
Adult Medicaid participants already qualify for the incentive, which will now run through the end of the year instead of Sept. 15.
Will more Ohio families on Medicaid get vaccinated against COVID-19?
With the incentives now available to children, health care plans hope that will be an additional motivating factor for families on Medicaid to get vaccinated. It’ll also play a role in combating any coronavirus outbreaks that might occur with the delta variant circulating in in-person school settings.
Medicaid is the state- and federally-funded health insurance program that serves more than 3 million low-income or disabled people across the state.
Gov. Mike DeWine in May had challenged Medicaid managed care organizations to help increase vaccinations. The health care plans had originally set up a goal of 900,000 Medicaid members inoculated by Aug. 15.
The Medicaid population, however, is one that is hard to reach, and incentives were doubled from $50 at the end of July along with a deadline extension to September.
The former September deadline is reachable, though the original August deadline seemed just out of reach. As of Aug. 8, more than 800,000 Ohioans on Medicaid had received one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Overall, Ohio has seen a 57% increase in the number of Medicaid members who have completed vaccination since DeWine urged Medicaid managed care organizations to increase inoculations.
Titus Wu is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.
This full article from the Columbus Dispatch can be found here.