The Ohio House and Senate approved legislation this week, sponsored by State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley), to help Ohio's veterans find and receive the medical benefits they have earned.

"Several healthcare options exist at the state and federal level for veterans,” said LaRose. “The problem is that many veterans don’t have enough information on which benefits are available or how to navigate the system to receive them. This program will help clarify this process so they can gain access to the assistance they have earned." 

LaRose, a ten-year army veteran, jointly sponsored the legislation with his colleague Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville).

"With the sixth largest population of veterans in the country, having over 875,000 across the state, Ohio must continue to be a leader in Veterans Services," said Burke.

Senate Bill 10 will require the Ohio Department of Veterans Services in coordination with the Ohio Department of Medicaid to assist veterans in determining which federal healthcare benefits they are eligible to receive and aid them with program enrollment.

This legislation follows previous efforts to curb growth in the state's Medicaid spending while simultaneously improving health outcomes for Ohioans. The program seeks to eliminate redundancies and encourage veterans to take advantage of federal benefits through county veteran services commissions.

The state of Washington passed similar legislation in 2004, saving the state an estimated $30 million and enabling it to serve an additional 4,000 veterans and their families. 

The bill passed both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly with bipartisan support and now goes to the governor for his signature. 

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