Number of uninsured at all-time high - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Number of uninsured at all-time high

By Dan Wells - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Newly released data by the U.S. Census Bureau says more than 13 percent of people in Ohio do not have health insurance.

In Hamilton County, the story is no different. Officials with the Department of Job and Family Services says the need for their services is at an all-time high.

Danny Stanley of Cleves is one of 243,000 Tri-state residents without healthcare.

"Its rough when you get sick. You just gotta get through it," said Stanley. "I don't have that well of a job, so when I go to the doctor, the bills are outrageous. I get put in debt pretty bad."

Stanley and his two daughters rely on state and federal programs through the JFS for help.

"Currently we are seeing about 56,000 people coming through our front doors each month and compare that to a year ago, and it was 43,000," said Moira Weir, executive director of JFS."

The county department provides a lot of different services, from food stamps and subsidized child care to administering healthcare through Medicade programs.

"At this point right now we have 110,000 people in Hamilton County on food stamps, and 140,000 on Medicaid," said Weir. "We have seen these numbers increase in the past year dramatically. In addition, 35 percent of the people that we are seeing today we have never seen before or are not known to us in five years so that just speaks to the need."

Stanley says his fear of medical bills got so bad that he didn't go to the doctor when he needed to, and eventually had to get an ambulance to the hospital, making a big fear a big reality with a price tag.

"Even an ambulance ride is outrageous," said Stanley. "My last ambulance ride was $575.That is crazy -  $575 just to get to the hospital."

Medicade is a state and federally funded health care coverage program that is not just for the elderly. In fact, it can supply health care coverage to income-eligible parents and their children up to age 21. It's something Stanley says has been a lifesaver for his daughters.

"If I pay for every visit that I took them to, I would be so in debt that even they when I'm dead and gone, would not be able to pay for it," he said. "It's crazy."

Officials say if you think you may qualify for one of the many programs at JFS, go down there and get evaluated.

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