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Low enrollment numbers in the Healthy Indiana Plan are questioned

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As Indiana seeks federal approval to continue its Healthy Indiana Plan, a health insurance program for income-eligible uninsured Hoosiers, some state legislators are concerned enrollment in the program is not higher.

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott provided an update on HIP Tuesday during the first meeting of the Legislature’s Health Finance Commission.

The state has applied to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to continue the HIP program as an ongoing waiver project. Recently, Minott and members of her staff, along with members from Gov. Mike Pence’s office, met with CMS Director Cynthia Mann.

Although the state has proposed using the HIP program as the platform to expand Medicaid, Minott told the commission the first priority is to get the current waiver approved so the enrollees in the program would have certainty their healthcare coverage would continue.

Minott said CMS had some concerns over issues such as benefits and enrollment caps but she is optimistic the program will get approval.

“We were very encouraged that yet this summer we will know and we will be able to communicate with the current HIP enrollees that their coverage will not be lost,” Minott said.

As of May, the HIP program had 37,000 Hoosiers enrolled with another 53,000 on the waiting list, according to Minott. The trust fund which supports the program contains a little over $300 million.

Both Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, and Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, pointed out when the program was originally enacted, enrollment was estimated to hit 140,000. They questioned why the current number of participants is so low, especially since the money to handle more enrollees is available in the trust fund.

Minott responded that enrollment in the HIP program is capped and that acceptance of more participants has to be done in a fiscally responsibly manner. She said she expects enrollment will rise if the program gets approval to continue for another three years.

“You talk about you’re doing this now and yet the funding has been there,” Becker said. “So to me, it’s been, I guess, an opportunity lost for people that need health coverage.”

Rep. Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, then pressed Minott over the expansion of Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The federal health care plan calls for states to raise the eligibility for the program to 133 percent of the federal poverty level in order to give more people insurance coverage. However, states are not obligated to expand Medicaid.

During the 2013 legislative session, some Democratic legislators did push for the state to opt to grow Medicaid, arguing since the first three years of the expansion would be fully funded by the federal government, Indiana would essentially be losing tax money is if did not approve the expansion.

However, their efforts did not gain traction. Many other legislators, including those in the Republican leadership, were skeptical the federal dollars would be there to support the expansion.

Minott said the state is continuing to pursue the possibility that it be allowed to expand Medicaid under the terms of HIP. In particular, Indiana wants the participants in the expanded Medicaid to pay into the program like they do for the Healthy Indiana Plan.

“I think we are dealing with incredibly important issues and we’re dealing with the lives of vulnerable people,” Minott said. “And so I don’t think we can just be lured by the fact that there’s a pot of money there without really being certain that we’re making good decisions and treating these folks with the respect that they need. The last thing I want to do is treat them like a yo-yo.”

This was the first of five meetings the Health Finance Commission is scheduled to hold. It will convene again July 22 and discuss, among other topics, health care exchanges.
 


 

 

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  • Harassment
    Yes this is so sad. They constantly are sending you letters that you didn't give this or give that my poor husband did everything they asked over 3 times yet they still continued to accuse him of owning his fathers (struggling business ) because his fathers legal name is Frank an his legal name is Frankie so after approved am paid his monthly contribution 6 months ahead ( 8.00 per month ) they cut him off once again saying he didn't give them what they wanted. My husband is a struggling Mechanic with a Large Mass the size of an apple on his arm he cannot get removed. after Gov. Mitch Daniels everything went down hill for Healthy Indiana Plan.
  • HIP A SCAM
    I WORK FOR A NON FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION AND I GET MANY CALLS INDICATING THE HIP PROGRAM IS PLANNING TO TERMINATE THEIR INSURANCE BECAUSE THEY EITHER DID NOT COMPLETE AND RETURN THEIR RENEWAL APPLICATION OR DID NOT PROVIDE REQUESTED DOCUMENTATION. THE CALLERS ARE ADAMANT THEY PROVIDED WHAT WAS REQUIRED. I BELIEVE THEM ALL. THEN THEIR APPEAL PROCESS IS THE WORST. A FAMILY IS CUT OFF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE THE FOLLOWING MONTH WHILE GOING THROUGH THE APPEALS PROCESS. MEANING THE FAMILY IS GUILTY BEFORE ALL OF THE FACTS ARE IN. THAT IS WHY THE HIP PROGRAM HAS SOOOO MUCH MONEY IN THE POT....IT IS A COMPLETE SHAME. LET ME ASK, HOW MUCH ARE THESE PEOPLE BEING PAID IN SALARIES? THE OTHER QUESTION I HAVE, WHERE IS THE MAIN OFFICE OR ANY OF THEIR OFFICES LOCATED????? IF IT'S OUT THERE IT CERTAINLY ISNT PLAN, CLEAR OR ACCESSIBLE.
  • Enrollment
    It actually happens all of the time in healthcare. Many consumers aren't aware of their benefits while others simply choose to ignore it. A strange phenomenon. www.indianainsurancehealth.com Affordable Healthcare in Indiana

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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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