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Ohio Health Insurance Consumer Guide
This guide will help you select the appropriate health insurance plan for you and your family. For many people, an ACA Marketplace/exchange plan, commonly referred to as Obamacare, is a good and inexpensive option.
People in Ohio use HealthCare.gov to enroll in ACA Marketplace plans. The state operates a marketplace plan management exchange. This means that while the federal government manages the exchange, the state oversees and certifies qualified health plans (QHPs) for sale on the exchange.
For 2024, there are a dozen insurers offering coverage in Ohio’s exchange, including one carrier that’s new to the state’s Marketplace for 2024. Plan availability varies from one area to another, but residents in nearly every county can select from at least three insurers’ plans for 2024.1
Dental coverage in Ohio
Need dental coverage? Learn about available options and find the right dental plan in Ohio with our guide
Ohio’s Medicaid program
Medicare coverage in Ohio
By 2023, nearly 2.5 million Ohioans were enrolled in Medicare.4 Our guide explains everything you need to know about Medicare and Medigap plans in Ohio.
Short-term coverage in Ohio
In Ohio, you can buy short-term health insurance plans lasting up to 364 days. Renewals are not allowed, but you can purchase additional plans if needed.5
Frequently asked questions about health insurance in Ohio
Who can buy Marketplace health insurance?
To qualify for health coverage through the Marketplace in Ohio, you must:6
- Live in Ohio
- Be either a United States citizen or national, or be lawfully present
- Not be incarcerated
- Not be enrolled in Medicare
Eligibility for financial assistance (premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions) depends on your income and how it compares with the cost of the second-lowest-cost Silver plan in your area – which depends on your age and location. In addition, to qualify for financial assistance with your Marketplace plan you must:
- Not have access to affordable health coverage through your employer. If your employer offers coverage but you feel it’s too expensive, you can use our Employer Health Plan Affordability Calculator to see if you might qualify for premium subsidies in the Marketplace.
- Not be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.
- Not be eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A.7
When can I enroll in an ACA-compliant plan in Ohio?
In Ohio, you can sign up for an ACA-compliant individual or family health insurance between November 1 and January 15 during open enrollment. Your coverage starts on January 1 if you enroll by December 15. But if you apply between December 16 and January 15, your coverage will begin on February 1.8
Outside of the annual open enrollment window, you may be eligible to enroll if you experience a qualifying life event, such as giving birth or losing other health coverage. (There’s also an extended special enrollment period for people who lose Medicaid or CHIP between March 31, 2023 and July 31, 2024.9)
Note that some people can enroll year-round even without a specific qualifying life event.10
How do I enroll in a Marketplace plan in Ohio?
To enroll in a Marketplace plan in Ohio, you can:
- Visit HealthCare.gov, a platform where you can shop, compare, and buy individual and family health plans.
- Purchase individual and family health coverage with the help of an insurance agent or broker, a Navigator or certified application counselor, or an approved enhanced direct enrollment entity.11
- You can also call HealthCare.gov’s contact center by dialing 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). The call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but it’s closed on holidays.
How can I find affordable health insurance in Ohio?
You can find affordable health insurance options in Ohio through HealthCare.gov – the ACA Marketplace.
Under the Affordable Care Act, you may qualify for income-based subsidies, known as Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC). These credits can reduce your premium and lower your overall costs.
During the open enrollment period for coverage in 2023, about 84% of people using Ohio’s exchange qualified for subsidies, and those eligible for saved an average of $479/month. As a result, the average enrollee’s premium was about $117/month after subsidies.12
If your household income isn’t more than 250% of the federal poverty level, you may also be eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSR). CSRs help lower your deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. With APTCs and CSRs, an ACA plan may be a cost-effective health insurance option.
Low-cost health insurance is also available through Medicaid. Use our guide to see if you qualify for Medicaid in Ohio.
How many insurers offer Marketplace coverage in Ohio?
Ohio’s exchange offers plans from twelve insurance companies for 2024, with Aetna Health Inc. joining as a new addition in 2024. Plan availability varies from one area to another, but residents in nearly all areas of Ohio can choose from at least three insurers’ plans for 2024 coverage:1
Are Marketplace health insurance premiums increasing in Ohio?
Ohio’s individual market insurers have implemented the following average rate increases for 2024:14
Ohio’s ACA Marketplace Plan 2024 Approved Rate Increases by Insurance Company
|AultCare Insurance Company||8.84%|
|Buckeye Community Health Plan||6.48%|
|CareSource Ohio, Inc.||5.96%|
|Community Insurance Company(Anthem BCBS)||12.44%|
|Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc.||5.46%|
|Oscar Buckeye State Insurance Corp||4.05%|
|Oscar Insurance Corporation of Ohio||8.83%|
|Paramount Insurance Company||11.37%|
|Summa Insurance Company, Inc.||4.41%|
|Aetna Health, Inc.||new for 2024|
Source: Ohio Rate Review Submissions14
For 2024 coverage, the Ohio Department of Insurance noted that weighted average premiums (before subsidies) increased by 7.8% for 2024.1
The approved rate changes apply to full-price premiums. Most Ohio exchange enrollees receive premium tax credits, so they don’t pay the full premium.15 For those who qualify for subsidies, changes in plan rates and subsidy amounts determine their net rate change.
For perspective, here’s how average unsubsidized premiums have changed in Ohio over the years:
- 2015: Average increase of 4%.16
- 2016: Average semi-weighted increase of 9.4%.17
- 2017: Average semi-weighted increase of 17.3%18
- 2018: Average increase of 34%.19
- 2019: Average increase of 6.3%.20
- 2020: Average decrease of 7.7%.21
- 2021: Average decrease of 0.4%.22
- 2022: Average increase of 4.8%.23
- 2023: Average semi-weighted increase of 6.85%.24
How many people are insured through Ohio’s Marketplace?
In the 2023 open enrollment period, 294,644 people were insured through Ohio’s Marketplace.25
The surge in enrollment during these years happened primarily due to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) making ACA’s premium subsidies more substantial. Under the ARP – now extended by the Inflation Reduction Act – subsidies are more significant and accessible through the end of 2025.26
What health insurance resources are available to Ohio residents?
Healthcare.gov: This is the federal website where you can enroll in a health insurance plan through the ACA Marketplace.
Ohio Medicaid: Eligible individuals and families can enroll in Medicaid, which provides low-cost or free health coverage. You can also enroll in Medicaid through Healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596.
Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI): To receive assistance with insurance and Medicare, call an ODI representative at (800) 686-1526.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: You can get help if you’re struggling to afford health coverage or want to know more about Medicaid eligibility or benefits.
Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIP): OSHIP offers free health insurance information to people on Medicare.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.
- ”2024 Federal Exchange Plans” Ohio Department of Insurance. Accessed November 2023.
- “Ohio Medicaid Expansion Will Provide Health Coverage for 270,000 Previously Uninsured Residents” Archives.gov, Oct. 21, 2023.
- "Total Monthly Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment and Pre-ACA Enrollment" KFF.org, April 2023
- “Medicare Monthly Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 2023
- “Availability of short-term health insurance in Ohio” healthinsurance.org, April 5, 2023
- ”A quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace” HealthCare.gov
- Medicare and the Marketplace, Master FAQ. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Accessed November 2023.
- “When can you get health insurance?” HealthCare.gov, 2023
- “Temporary Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Consumers Losing Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Coverage Due to Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Condition– Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” CMS.gov, Jan. 27, 2023
- “Who doesn’t need a special enrollment period?“ healthinsurance.org, Accessed August 2023
- “Entities Approved to Use Enhanced Direct Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 28, 2023
- “2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, March 2023
- “2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, March 2023
- “Ohio Rate Review Submissions” HealthCare.gov, Accessed November 2023
- “Effectuated Enrollment: Early 2023 Snapshot and Full-Year 2022 Average” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Analysis Finds No Nationwide Increase in Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums. The Commonwealth Fund. December 2014.
- FINAL PROJECTION: 2016 Weighted Avg. Rate Increases: 12-13% Nationally* ACA Signups. October 2015.
- Final Touches: APPROVED Unsubsidized Rate Hikes For Washington, South Carolina, Ohio. ACA Signups. October 2016.
- Ohio premiums for Obamacare policies to rise by 34 percent on average, state says. Cleveland.com. September 2017.
- Ohio: APPROVED 2019 #ACA Rates: 6.3% INCREASE Instead Of ~4.9% DECREASE W/Out #ACASabotage. ACA Signups. August 2018.
- Ohio: APPROVED 2020 #ACA Exchange Avg. Rate Changes: 7.7% *Decrease*. ACA Signups. August 2019.
- Ohio: Preliminary 2021 Avg. #ACA Premiums: +3.2% Or -0.4%?? ACA Signups. September 2020.
- Ohio: Approved Avg. 2022 #ACA Rate Changes: +4.8% Indy Market (Prelim Sm. Group: +5.1% Unweighted). ACA Signups. October 2021.
- UPDATED: FINAL Unsubsidized 2023 Premiums: +6.2% Across All 50 States +DC. ACA Signups. Accessed November 2023.
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report” CMS.gov, 2023
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report” CMS.gov, Accessed August 2023
- “ASPE Issue Brief (2014) ” ASPE, 2015
- “ Health Insurance Marketplaces 2015 Open Enrollment Period: March Enrollment Report ”, HHS.gov, 2015
- “ HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACES 2016 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD: FINAL ENROLLMENT REPORT ” HHS.gov, 2016
- “ 2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2017
- “ 2018 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files ” CMS.gov, 2018
- “ 2019 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2019
- “ 2020 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files ” CMS.gov, 2020
- “ 2021 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files ” CMS.gov, 2021
- “ 2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files ” CMS.gov, 2022
- “ Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report ” CMS.gov, 2023