After two years of waiting for a response, the state has learned it may be forced to close enrollment for the 42,000-plus people in the Healthy Indiana Plan beginning next year.
Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Michael Gargano recently received notification from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, offering to approve only a one-year extension for HIP, to Dec. 31, 2013. CMS failed to approve a multi-year extension for HIP and declined to respond to the state’s questions about utilizing HIP to serve Hoosiers who may be eligible under a Medicaid expansion if the state decides to do so in 2014.
“We’re disappointed that after two years, Indiana still does not have an answer about the long-term future of HIP. We will be forced to make a difficult decision about continuing HIP enrollment for a program that likely won’t exist after 2013. States have been seeking answers and flexibility, and this response hampers innovation and efforts to plan,” said Gargano.
HIP is the state’s successful health insurance program that since 2008 has provided coverage for nearly 100,000 low-income Hoosiers ages 19 to 64 who have no access to employer-provided insurance. HIP features policies that promote cost sharing, such as requiring small contributions and incentivizing preventive care. The program enables participants to make cost-conscious and responsible health care choices.
The Indiana General Assembly passed HIP with bipartisan support in 2007. Members of the legislature also voted in 2011 for HIP to be the coverage vehicle for a potential Medicaid expansion.