[r73] HIP 2.0 approved for Hoosiers

Posted by: Lindsay Devlin  | Monday, February 2, 2015

Many of you may have heard that HIP 2.0, the Healthy Indiana Plan expansion, was approved by the federal government this week. Through this expansion, an estimated 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers will have access to health care that is both cost effective and consumer-driven. When it comes to health care, people deserve options and the ability to decide what coverage is right for them. However, with uncertainty and confusion still surrounding the Affordable Care Act, I am pleased our state has a plan; designed by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers.

With the approval of the HIP 2.0 waiver, Indiana will implement proven, consumer-driven health care as an alternative to traditional Medicaid. HIP has a very high satisfaction rate, and in fact, 98 percent of the program’s current members say they would re-enroll. HIP 2.0 is based off of a commercial health insurance model that empowers people and allows them to choose coverage that best fits their needs.

Indiana is the first and only state to successfully offer a consumer-driven health care plan for low-income families. Three different plans exist, based on household size and income, and all plans come with a Personal Wellness and Responsibility (POWER) account, which operates like a Health Savings Account (HSA). The information listed below includes a brief description about each plan:

  • HIP Basic: Default plan for Hoosiers that are below 100 percent of the federal poverty level and do not make the required POWER account contributions. This plan requires co-pays from members for every service.
  • HIP Plus: Serves as a Medicaid alternative for anyone below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. This plan is available to all members who successfully contribute to a POWER account.
  • HIP Link: Offers premium assistance to help members pay for their qualified employer health insurance plan. Enrollment is optional.

Hoosiers can apply for HIP 2.0 now. Applications can be made online at www.HIP.IN.gov, by mail, fax or phone, or by visiting a local Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Family Resources (DFR) office. You can find your local DFR office by visiting the website listed above.

As a pharmacist, health care and quality of life continue to be one of my priorities which is why I authored legislation that will further streamline and provide more efficient health care in Indiana. With the addition of 350,000 new patients from HIP 2.0 and the current shortage of physicians in our state, physician extenders like physician assistants and team based health care are a necessity to provide adequate and quality health care.

I have authored HB 1183 which increases the scope of practice for physician assistants (PA)s.  We have 4 physician assistant schools in Indiana that educate and train physician assistants for their role team based health care.  Previously, Indiana had more restrictive rules on PAs than other states and many Indiana educated physician assistants left Indiana to have greater freedom of practice.  I believe it is important to keep the best and brightest from Indiana in Indiana and authored this bill to create greater professional freedom for PAs in Indiana.  HB 1183 allows PAs the opportunity to have greater participation in the team based health care model, treating weight loss and obesity, writing prescriptions with the co-signature of the physician and performing many of the duties delegated by the physician in the supervisory agreement.  This will create better access to health care for Hoosiers throughout our state and especially in underserved areas.

In the coming months, I will continue to work on legislation and advocate for measures that strengthen our state’s public health and boost the economy. Please feel free to contact my office by phone at 1-800-383-9841 or email h73@iga.in.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.