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HIP expansion negotiations underway

Negotiations are underway between the state and federal government to provide healthcare coverage to more Hoosiers by expanding the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). 

Since taking office in January, Governor Mike Pence has been singularly focused on extending the Healthy Indiana Plan for another year.  The federal government granted that extension earlier this month.

Pence’s administration has now shifted focus to healthcare expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  And Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott says the state wants to expand health insurance coverage to more Hoosiers using the Healthy Indiana Plan. 

However, Minott says the federal government has concerns about HIP – notably its requirement that customers pay into health savings accounts.

“They’re concerned, for instance, that our contributions to a POWER account are really a premium.  And we’ve had extensive discussions with them to explain to them that there is a significant difference between a contribution to a savings account and an insurance premium.”

When questioned by lawmakers whether there is a chance the federal government will allow the state to expand health insurance coverage using HIP, Minott says she believes Indiana is ‘in the ballpark.’  She did not give a timetable on when the federal government might make a decision.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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