Pence unveils Healthy Indiana Plan expansion

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Governor Pence just announced he’d like to largely do away with Medicaid in order to revamp the Healthy Indiana Plan.

He says he hopes to expand coverage to more working class families who still can’t afford healthcare.  Pence is calling it the Healthy Indiana Plan HIP 2.0.  If approved by the federal government, it would cover 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers.

Now, this wouldn’t raise taxes for Hoosiers.  The state would use a combination of federal dollars, existing cigarette tax revenue, and financial support from hospitals.

Pence is trying to fill what he’s calling the coverage gap.

“For a family of four that means you’re making about 24-thousand dollars a year or less,” Governor of Indiana Mike Pence said.

About a half a million working class people can’t afford health insurance.

“One woman I spoke with, I was deeply moved by her story. She said we had a nice house, nice car, we were going along well in life. I lost my husband, and I never thought I’d find myself in this place where I am today. She has a job, but it’s not like what they had before and she is unable to afford insurance.”

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, freed up billions of dollars to be used for programs like HIP 2.0

So why not expand Medicaid? Results from a study out of Oregon revealed it’s a -quote- fiscal monstrosity

“Medicaid enrollment actually increased emergency room use and produced health outcomes that were no better than being uninsured and in some cases were worse.”

HIP 2.0 is an expanded version of the Healthy Indiana Plan that was created six years ago by Governor Mitch Daniels.  It requires members to make small contributions to health savings accounts.

“We have a track record where Hoosiers have demonstrated an enthusiasm for the Healthy Indiana Plan. They’ve made contributions to their health savings accounts, become choosier shoppers in healthcare, they use preventative medicine more. So, for the interest of Hoosiers’ health and for the long-term fiscal health of the state I thought the best approach and continue to believe the best approach is to expand coverage in Indiana.”

We won’t find out for months whether it will be approved.  Governor Pence wants to know what you think about it.  Attend or call in to a public hearing:

  • May 28th at 9am at the Indiana Government Center South, Conference Center Room B, located at 302 W. Washington Street in Indianapolis
  • May 29th at 1pm at the Indiana Statehouse, Room 156-B, located at 200 West Washington Street in Indianapolis

You can also e-mail your thoughts:  HIP2.0@fssa.IN.gov

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