The Buckeye State now has a new discount medical program law.
The law gives the Ohio Department of Insurance the authority to regulate discount programs in the state.
The law also requires organizers of the programs, which offer preferred provider plan-like discounts on medical services but provide no insurance coverage, to have written contracts with the doctors and other providers in their networks.
In the past, some doctors have objected when discount plan programs have tried to include them in their networks by renting access to major medical plan provider networks.
Doctors who have criticized the discount programs’ rental of major medical plan provider networks have argued that a major medical plan is much different because, they say, patients who have insurance coverage are more likely to pay their bills than patients who simply have discount cards.
The new Ohio law also requires that all discount program advertisements and sales materials clearly state that the discount medical program is not insurance, and it requires discount programs to comply with new policy cancellation and refund rules, officials say.