Kaiser Health News published the story, “In Conservative Indiana, Medicaid Expansion Makes Poorest Pay” on March 24, 2016. The story discusses Indiana’s use of federal Medicaid funds through the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP).
Healthy Indiana pushes Medicaid’s traditional boundaries, which is why it has the attention of other conservative states. The plan demands something from all enrollees, even those below the poverty line. The poorest Hoosiers can get coverage with vision and even dental benefits, but only if they make small monthly contributions to individual accounts similar to health savings accounts. Individuals who fail to keep up lose the enhanced coverage and face copayments. Others who are above poverty can temporarily lose all coverage if they fall behind on contributions.
ISAHU President David Berman has this response to the full story:
Dear ISAHU MEMBERS: In response to the Kaiser Health News Article, “Indiana’s Expanded Medicaid Program Requires Monthly Contributions From Even The Poorest”, I would like to respond.
“If Healthy Indiana Plan’s monthly contributions seem “more like commercial insurance”, this is “by design”. This was “by design” so that the Beneficiaries are required to have some Personal Responsibility & not just be the recipient of benefits. The State of Indiana reports that those Hoosiers that are making their payments are more engaged in their health care than those who are not, so the plan is working.
As does “the plan’s tough –minded approach to paying for low-income Americans’ health care.” The state of Indiana uses a common sense approach that creates Personal Responsibility from the Beneficiaries perspective so that they will use the benefits in a responsible & cost effective manner (Dr. Office Visit vs Emergency Room Visit).
The article acknowledged the state’s Medicaid expansion “remains a singular experiment with an uncertain outcome” and its critics “worry” the “complexity could make health care harder for the poor to access – the opposite of a core goal of expansion.” Every day more & more Hoosiers are enrolling in in HIP 2.0 & now that HIP Link is available, the working poor are eligible to be insured through their Employer Sponsored Group Medical Plan & in addition, they receive assistance from the State of Indiana. Getting more Hoosiers enrolled & receiving assistance is exactly the Goal of Medicaid Expansion!
– David Berman, President