Ohio News Briefs

Insurer’s demise raises concerns about Ohioans’ coverage

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Health care advocates and a Republican U.S. senator are raising concerns that nearly 22,000 Ohioans could end up paying much more for health care after the state took over their struggling insurer.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman asked in a Thursday letter to federal officials if InHealth Mutual policyholders will have to satisfy new insurance deductibles if they switch plans even if they already paid hundreds of dollars this year with the financially troubled carrier.

A judge last month allowed Ohio’s insurance department to take over the suburban Columbus-based Coordinated Health Mutual Inc., an insurance co-op organized under the Affordable Care Act that sold the policies under its InHealth brand.

Advocates are calling on Ohio insurers who pick up InHealth members to credit any medical expenses already incurred toward their new deductibles.

Woman accused in assisted living thefts in Ohio indicted

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — A woman accused of stealing jewelry, watches and other items from residents of senior living facilities in two central Ohio counties over several years has been indicted on more than 100 charges.

Delaware County’s prosecutor says 55-year-old Susan Gwynne was indicted Wednesday on multiple counts, including burglary and theft. Prosecutor Carol O’Brien says Gwynne is accused of thefts from at least 31 residents at facilities in Franklin and Delaware counties.

An arrest warrant was issued for Gwynne. Court records don’t list an attorney for her.

The indictment alleges the thefts occurred from April 2008 through March 2016. Authorities say Gwynne apparently wore medical scrubs when entering the facilities.

Investigators say a search of Gwynne’s home found more than 3,000 items, mostly jewelry. Other missing items include cash and credit cards.

Ohio State University mascot won’t march in Pride parade

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University’s mascot has pulled out of an upcoming Ohio parade and festival celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

The university coaching staff cited safety concerns after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead as the reason for pulling Brutus Buckeye from this weekend’s Pride festival in Columbus.

The president of the Columbus Ohio Gay Lesbian Ally Hockey Association says the group had offered additional security for the mascot, but understands the school’s decision.

A university statement says the decision to withdraw Brutus over expressed safety concerns was difficult.

University spokesman Ben Johnson says OSU’s president and other officials, students and staff still plan to participate in the festival.

Columbus police have said security will be increased for this weekend’s events.

Cincinnati opposing proposed natural gas pipeline

BLUE ASH, Ohio (AP) — Cincinnati is opposing proposals to build a 12-mile natural gas pipeline that would replace an existing line that has been in place since the 1950s.

Duke Energy met with residents in a Cincinnati suburb Wednesday to answer questions about the company’s pipeline proposals in Hamilton County.

The energy company says a study found the existing line is nearing the end of its useful life and that a new one is necessary to meet future natural gas demands.

Cincinnati’s City Council passed a motion of opposition Wednesday afternoon citing safety and environmental questions.

Hamilton County commissioners are asking Duke to increase its public notice to residents living near the proposed routes.

Duke says it is reviewing those resolutions and will determine how to proceed before submitting two final proposals next month.