Indiana Proposes Medicaid Expansion Alternative

Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has announced plans to enact an alternative to Medicaid expansion that would extend private health insurance coverage to low-income state residents.

Gov. Pence's proposal involves expanding the Healthy Indiana Plan, a state-sponsored health insurance program administered by private health insurers and currently available to adults ages 19 to 64 with incomes less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level who are not covered by Medicaid or other essential health coverage. HIP 2.0 would extend eligibility to those earning as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty level and would be fully funded through Indiana's existing cigarette tax revenue, hospital assessment fee program and federal Medicaid funding. Members with incomes greater than 100 percent of the poverty level would have to contribute to a Personal Wellness and Responsibility Account (which operates like a health savings account) to help pay for their deductible.

"Reforming traditional Medicaid is essential to creating better health outcomes and curbing the dramatic growth in Medicaid spending," Gov. Pence said in a news release. "HIP 2.0 takes consumer-driven Medicaid reform to the next level by replacing traditional Medicaid for many in Indiana with a plan that empowers participants to take charge of their health and to be cost-conscious consumers."

The Indiana Hospital Association has expressed support for Gov. Pence's plan. "We're confident that the HIP 2.0 plan proposed by the governor is the right solution to the healthcare crisis facing Hoosier hospitals and patients," said Doug Leonard, president of Indiana Hospital Association, in a news release. "We're more hopeful than ever we will soon bring greater healthcare coverage to those who need it most."

The state plans to submit a waiver request to CMS, which must approve the proposal. A draft of the waiver is available for viewing online, and there will be a 30-day formal public notice and comment period during which state residents can review the waiver and submit comments.

More Articles on Medicaid Expansion:
5 Key Findings on Medicaid Expansion, Community Health Center Patients  
4 Key Findings on the PPACA and Medicaid Enrollment
3 Statistics Showing the Impact of Not Expanding Medicaid 


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