Rep. Ziemke: Celebrating a year of success with HIP 2.0

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 19, 2016

The most important part of our health system is ensuring that Indiana residents have access to affordable and quality health care. In Indiana, we established the nation’s first consumer-driven health care program for low-income and Medicaid-eligible individuals, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0. In its first year, more than 370,000 low-income Hoosiers are participating in the program. To date, HIP 2.0 has also attracted over 5,300 additional health care providers to serve its eligible members.

Unlike traditional Medicaid programs, HIP 2.0 empowers its members to be responsible for their health care by allowing them to make monthly contributions based on their income. Similar to a health savings account, the first $2,500 of medical expenses for covered services are paid for by a Personal Wellness and Responsibility (POWER) account. By making these contributions, you would be enrolled in the HIP Plus plan, which covers essential health benefits including vision and dental. Moreover, this plan does not require you to make co-payments.

The HIP 2.0 program also covers individuals who are not financially capable of making their POWER account contributions. Known as the HIP Basic plan, Indiana residents with household incomes less than or equal to 100 percent of the federal poverty level are still able to receive the health services they need. While it is critical that Hoosiers have access to health insurance, the goal of HIP 2.0 is for its members to be accountable for their health. Nearly 7 out of 10 participants are making contributions, and the program also has a 94 percent rate of individuals who keep making contributions once enrolled.

One of HIP 2.0’s key features is HIP Link, which is offered to eligible members who work and have access to their employer’s insurance plan. This allows Hoosiers to still have a POWER account and contribute to their coverage, while also using their account to pay the insurance premiums and outside costs associated with their employer plan. In addition, Indiana launched a free and voluntary program called Gateway to Work to connect members with career assessment and job training services. Participants of Gateway to Work are also invited to attend hiring events with employers throughout the state. These features of the HIP 2.0 program provide much-needed assistance for Hoosiers looking to find employment or striving to become more self-sufficient.

Today, hundreds of thousands of low-income Hoosiers not only have access to quality health care, but are now able to make their own decisions regarding their health options. The first year of HIP 2.0 has been a great success, but it is important that we continue to spread the word about this program to people throughout our community. If you would like to enroll, please visit www.HIP.in.gov or call 1-877-GET-HIP-9. For more information about the application process, contact my office at (317) 232-9815 or h55@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties. She serves as Vice Chair of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. She also serves on the Courts and Criminal Code Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction.