Pence unveils plan for uninsured in Indiana

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — Gov. Mike Pence unveils an expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan that he said could be an alternative to Medicaid. It is called Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.

Pence said HIP 2.0 is a consumer-driven health care coverage program for low-income adults. He said it would replace traditional Medicaid for all non-disabled adults and provide new incentives Hoosiers to take responsibility for their health.

“Reforming traditional Medicaid is essential to creating better health outcomes and curbing the dramatic growth in Medicaid spending,” Pence told News 18 in a release.

Pence said the new plan will not raise taxes. It will be fully funded by the state cigarette tax, the hospital assessment fee and federal Medicaid funding. He said the expansion will cover 350,000 uninsured Indiana residents.

Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Debra Minott, said the modifications maintain emphasis on personal responsibility and represents Indiana’s continued efforts to find innovative, fiscally responsible ways to get people the care they need.

“All individuals in HIP will have incentives to get recommended preventive services and manage their POWER (Personal Wellness and Responsibility) account funds appropriately,” said Minott in a news release.

Democrats said it puts us on track to join other states that have given residents the options available under the Affordable Care Act.

Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita released a statement thanking Gov. Pence for his efforts to renew HIP.

“Governor Pence and his team deserve a thank you from all Hoosiers for their efforts to renew the Healthy Indiana Plan. This proposal would allow our state to continue pursuing our successful, market driven, outcome based, and state directed health care reforms, like those included in my American Health Care Reform Act, to insure our poor. I call on the Obama Administration to work with our governor and approve this plan to allow Hoosiers the ability make their own healthcare decisions.”

Innovations of the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 include:

  • Providing a new HIP Employer Benefit Link plan — that supports participation in employer-sponsored insurance plans.
  • Maintaining and increasing the POWER account — modeled after a Health Savings Account, from which members would pay for medical services.
  • Providing a new option for families to be covered by the same health plan.
  • Facilitating linkages to employment services, and rewards individuals for securing employment and moving off public assistance.

The expansion still requires federal approval before taking effect. There will be a 30 day period for residents to review the policy and submit public comment. After that, the state will conduct two separate formal public hearings over HIP 2.0.

If you have questions, click here. For further information, visit the HIP website.

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