Indiana and HHS have come to an agreement about the state's proposal to expand Medicaid. The program will cover as many as 350,000 individuals.
Indiana is the latest Republican-led to expand Medicaid, and it is doing so through a waiver granted by HHS. Now 28 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid.
Gov Mike Pence submitted his proposal in July 2014, and now that it has been approved, 350,000 people could gain insurance coverage.
“Since the beginning of my administration, we have worked hard to ensure that low-income Hoosiers have access to a health care plan that empowers them to take charge of their health and prepares them to move to private insurance as they improve their lives,” Gov Pence said in a statement. “This has been a long process, but real reform takes work.”
Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program will actually be an updated version of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0). The plan’s approval ends traditional Medicaid for non-disabled residents between the ages of 19 and 64 years.
“The expanded and updated HIP 2.0 is based on a program that has been serving 60,000 low-income Hoosiers in our state for seven years,” Gov Pence said. “It is a proven model for Medicaid reform across the nation.”
Participants in HIP 2.0 contribute to an account, managed like a health savings account, and will be rewarded for using preventive care, according to the governor. The state contributes to the account as well to ensure funding can cover the deductible or initial healthcare expenses up to $1100.
Those living 100% above the poverty line will pay a monthly contribution of approximately $25. Individuals below the poverty line will pay between $3 and $20 a month, depending on their income. If consumers do not pay, they could incur mandatory co-pays or even a loss of coverage. Penalties vary depending on the individuals’ income level. Emergency room use will include a co-pay in an attempt to discourage inappropriate use of the service.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement
. The Administration will continue to
“I continue to be encouraged by interest from governors from all across the country who want to bring health care coverage to low-income people in their states by expanding Medicaid. "They understand both the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion and the health and financial security it brings to their residents work with governors interested in expanding Medicaid to devise approaches that work for their states while keeping faith with the law’s goals and consumer protections.”