As Governor, Strickland was a strong advocate for older Ohioans and Ohioans with disabilities, working on their behalf to expand choice and access and improve quality of life. Strickland provided tax relief, expanded economic opportunity, expanded choices in the type of care settings, increased access to home and community care, and worked to make accessing these services quicker and easier.
Created Homestead Exemption for Older Ohioans who are Homeowners and for Ohio Homeowners with Disabilities. In 2007, Governor Strickland created an exemption for permanently disabled Ohioans and older Ohioans to allow them to protect $25,000 of the value of their home from property taxation. Strickland’s exemption resulted in an average of $400 a year in property tax savings. [HB 119, 6/30/2007; Ohio Department of Taxation]
Established a Medicaid Buy-In to Help Thousands of Disabled Ohioans Go Back to Work. In 2007, Governor Strickland established a Medicaid buy-in program to allow people with disabilities to have access to Medicaid even as they worked outside their homes. Strickland raised income and asset thresholds to allow disabled Ohioans to work without the fear of losing Medicaid coverage. In FY 2009, there were 4,587 people enrolled in the program for workers with disabilities. [HB 119, 6/30/2007; Ohio Department of Job and Family Services]
Expanded Choice for Older Ohioans and Ohioans with Disabilities. Governor Strickland implemented numerous reforms and program changes to create greater flexibility for eligible Ohioans to choose the setting in which they receive care.
Created a Flexible Funding Stream to Allow Consumer Choice to Direct Resources. In 2009, Governor Strickland brought greater flexibility to the long-term care budget to allow elderly Ohioans and Ohioans with disabilities to more effectively choose the setting of the care they receive. By creating a single budget line, Strickland allowed more flexibility to allocate resources and services based on consumer choice and need. [HB 1, 7/17/2009]
Implemented Money Follows the Person Program. Governor Strickland implemented the Money Follows the Person program in Ohio to allow more Ohioans to leave institutional settings (nursing homes, ICF/MR facilities, hospitals, residential treatment facilities for children) and receive long-term services and supports in their own homes. As of December 10, 2010, 825 Ohioans had used the program to return to their homes. [HB 562, 6/24/2008; HB 119, 6/30/2007; Ohio Department of Job and Family Services]
Eliminated Participant Limit for Assisted Living Waiver. In 2010, Governor Strickland eliminated the 1,800 participant limit for the Assisted Living Waiver to help more Ohioans delay entry into nursing homes and expand consumer choice. [HB 1, 7/17/2009]
Increased Funding for Developmental Disabilities Waivers. Under Governor Strickland, the percentage of dollars directed to supporting Medicaid Waivers has increased each year, expanding choices in care settings for Ohioans with developmental disabilities. The percentage of dollars directed to Medicaid Waivers increased by 10.72 percent from 2007 to 2008, 12.28 percent from 2008 to 2009, and by 18.51 percent from 2009 to 2010. These increases were in spite of a 12 percent reduction in General Revenue Fund money in fiscal year 2009 and an additional 5.8 percent reduction in General Revenue Fund money in fiscal year 2010 owing to the worst recession since the Great Depression. [HB 119, 6/30/2007; HB 1, 7/17/2009; Office of Budget and Management]
Provided 42,000 older Ohioans with Access to Choice in Care Settings. Since the beginning of Governor Strickland’s term 42,000 older Ohioans eligible for nursing home placement were able to access PASSPORT, PACE, and Assisted Living to give these Ohioans choice in the setting of the care they receive. The Governor ensured access by directing the elimination of waiting lists for these popular and cost effective options. [Ohio Department of Aging]
Implemented Medicaid in Schools. In 2008, Governor Strickland implemented the Medicaid Schools Program to provide Medicaid reimbursements for services delivered to children in schools. Nearly 600 school districts and charter schools have enrolled in the program and approximately 383 submitting and receiving Medicaid reimbursement for services provided to approximately 43,842 Ohio children. [Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; Ohio Department of Education]
Created Online Registry to Assist Disabled Ohioans With Locating Affordable Housing. In 2008, a partnership between several state agencies, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Developmental Disabilities Council developed a searchable rental housing database to help disabled Ohioans locate affordable housing. The site has received 95,000 visitors since its launch in July 2008. [www.ohiohousinglocator.org]
Established the Aging and Disability Resource Center. Under Governor Strickland, the Ohio Department of Aging established the Ohio Aging and Disability Resource Center in 2009. The Aging and Disability Resource Center increased cooperation and coordination between agencies and entities offering long-term care services and information. The Center ensured that a consumer that contacts a care delivery organization will be able to find the necessary information and support across the broad spectrum of care and service providers. [Ohio Department of Aging]