Working in the health care industry, I know how important it is to have the best health care options available. As the country continues to struggle with the changes under the Affordable Care Act, Indiana has made strides by offering a consumer-driven health care program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP).
HIP empowers Hoosiers to take charge of their health care options and promotes preventative care to reduce emergency room visits. It also has a high satisfaction rate among those who participate in the program. However, under the guidelines of HIP, a large number of uninsured Hoosiers were not eligible to receive it.
That is why I applaud Governor Mike Pence for his dedication to expanding HIP, referred to as HIP 2.0, to offer health care options to those uninsured Hoosiers. However, in order to move forward with HIP 2.0, it required approval from the federal government.
Back in June, the state submitted a waiver application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow us to expand this program as an alternative to the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. This week, Indiana’s waiver request was granted, further opening the door for Hoosiers who cannot receive Medicaid, but still fall under the federal poverty line, to receive health insurance. With this approval, Indiana will continue to offer the first-ever consumer-driven health care plan for a low income population.
Specifically, HIP 2.0 will add new pathways for coverage that promote employer-sponsored coverage and continue HIP’s private market model, which incentivizes members to take accountability for their health.
Starting now, Hoosiers can apply at any time to see if they qualify for this program in the state or federal marketplace. For those of you who are already on HIP, you will automatically be rolled into HIP 2.0 once it becomes fully implemented, with the same coverage and no breaks in your plan.
While HIP 2.0 is health care oriented, at its very core, it is about personal responsibility. Not only does it place important decision making in the hands of Hoosiers, but it also links any Hoosier who completes the application for HIP coverage to job training and job search programs presented by the state of Indiana.
Since the idea first surfaced, I have been an out-spoken critic of the Affordable Care Act, and I could not be more pleased that we have a governor who is willing to stand up for our state in the face of a federal mandate and defend what is best for the people of Indiana. Not only does this mean that 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers now have access to quality care, but it also means that more Hoosiers will be able to receive the care they need, at a price they can afford.
HIP 2.0 is a step in the right direction for all Hoosiers and places important personal health decisions in the hands of the people, not the government. This proven model for Medicaid reform will ensure that more tax dollars stay in Indiana to improve the health and well-being of its citizens and is a win-win for our state. If you or someone you know would like to enroll, please visit HIP.IN.gov or call 1-877-GET-HIP-9.