Harrison clerk granted funding

CADIZ – Clerk of Courts Leslie Milliken met with the Harrison County commissioners Wednesday to request additional appropriations.

Milliken stated that after calculating salary expenses for the remainder of the year, she would have to pay one employee from a fund for the Child Support Enforcement Agency.

Milliken said the cash balance was $7,893.30 as of Aug. 31 and requested an additional $6,917.57 be appropriated. The commissioners approved the appropriations.

In other matters, commissioners noted a local Natural Resources Conservation Service work group session is planned Oct. 10 at the USDA Project Office office in Hopedale. All elected officials are invited to attend the meeting at 2 p.m. if the government is not shut down. The office is currently closed due to the lapse in federal government funding. The new district conservationist will be in attendance.

Scott Blackburn, director of the Harrison County Department of Job and Family Services, told the board that the DJFS will be taking applications for the new Medicaid program. Blackburn explained that the faster, streamlined process is the result of new, simplified federal regulations that determine who is eligible for Medicaid.

Those new regulations use modified adjusted gross income instead of a complicated set of formulas Ohio had been using for decades, he said.

The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, requires all states to use MAGI to determine who can enroll in Medicaid, according to Blackburn. Residents now can use the website to apply for Medicaid and anyone can use it to determine if they qualify for Medicaid or should apply for insurance on the new health insurance exchange or marketplace.

“This does not take effect until January, so if you need Medicare immediately you need to come in and apply through the current system,” Blackburn explained. “As I understand it, they will be running two systems and they will transfer the current recipients into the new system in 2014.”

Persons currently on Medicaid do not need to take any action at this time according to the DJFS. Blackburn said the government has eased up on restrictions and more people could be eligible under the new system.

Brochures explaining the new program are available at the courthouse and the DJFS offices.