Medicaid

State of Indiana

The Pence Administration is seeking a waiver to replace Indiana’s Medicaid program with a new version of the Healthy Indiana Plan. 

Speaking at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis Thursday, Governor Pence unveiled a new state-sponsored health care plan that would cover Hoosiers who earn up to 138-percent of the federal poverty limit.

Like the original Healthy Indiana Plan, HIP 2.0 asks individuals to pay into a health savings account. Those who do will be eligible for a new top tier plan called HIP PLUS.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels says for the United States to prosper, spending on entitlements must be reined in soon. He was one of several people who spoke at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation event Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

The forum looked at the costs and impacts of entitlement programs on future generations, and possible reforms and solutions available. 

Daniels says government spending on Social Security and Medicare leaves less money for such things as university research, which in turn hurts the national economy.

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.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than 36,000 low-income Hoosiers with health insurance through the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) will get to keep their coverage for another year.  Indiana reached an agreement with the federal government for an extension of the state’s health insurance program through 2014.

Under HIP’s one year extension, the program will undergo some changes.  Currently, a family of four earning about $47,000 annually, which is 200% of the federal poverty level, is eligible for the program; that income threshold will be lowered to 100%, roughly $23,000 a year for that family of four.

Two-thirds of low-income Hoosier children on Medicaid did not receive dental care in 2011.

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that in the most recent year for which data is available, 67% of Medicaid-enrolled Indiana children did not receive a dental visit – the third-highest percentage in the nation.

Pew Children’s Dental Campaign Director Shelly Gehshan says that’s because not enough dentists take Medicaid patients.

Democratic lawmakers say it’s time for Indiana to begin a serious discussion about healthcare, including potential expansion of Medicaid.  They have proposed legislation dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The proposed bill authored by Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) would create a state-run healthcare exchange – a kind of marketplace for insurance companies and customers. It also would expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.

New state estimates predict Indiana’s Medicaid costs will increase between $600 million and $2.6 billion over a seven year period once the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.

The wide difference in potential cost calculated by Milliman Incorporated, the state’s actuary, is based on whether the state decides to expand Medicaid.  If the state does not expand the health care program, it will still see an increase of $612 million dollars.  If full expansion occurs, it would cost $2.6 billion.

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