On Monday September 3, the State of Indiana received approval to extend the Healthy Indiana Plan through 2014, under a one-year Medicaid waiver. Without this waiver extension the State would have been forced to shut the program down, potentially leaving it’s enrollees without coverage.
In a statement released Monday, Senator Dan Coats (R-IND) had this to say “The record has shown that this program’s consumer-driven approach empowers participants, provides quality care, and remains extremely popular among its members. The Healthy Indiana Plan is one of the many examples of how Hoosiers are leading the way in creating state-based, innovative ideas for governing that can serve as a model worthy of imitation”.
However, this recent victory for HIP supporters did not come without some changes as well as opposition. Under the revised plan, the income ceiling for HIP eligibility has been lowered from 200% to 100% of the poverty level. According to WSBT.com, for a single adult the new earning limit for eligibility is $11,500 a year. Residents earning up to $22,300 already enrolled in the program will have to seek private insurance via the federal marketplace beginning in October.
According to local democrats, this recent development could be detrimental to thousands of low-income Hoosiers. According to a news report by WRTV 6, House Minority Leader Scott Pelath called the HIP extension an embarrassment and a horrible economic decision.
Republicans maintain that extending the Healthy Indiana Plan as opposed to accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid will benefit the state significantly.