Governor Mike Pence continues to wait for approval from federal officials for his Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0 version of Medicaid expansion.
According to a December article in the Indianapolis Star, both state and federal officials recently acknowledged that negotiations are ongoing. Kathleen Falk, Region V regional director of Health and Human Services (HHS), said the conversations between HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Pence were “serious and constructive.” Indiana Medicaid Director Joe Moser agreed, saying they were “making progress.”
On November 17, 2014, the Pence administration announced that the current HIP program had received approval from HHS for another year.
“This decision by the federal government to renew our current Healthy Indiana Plan is welcome news and will bring certainty to the more than 60,000 Hoosiers who currently enjoy the benefits of this proven health care program,” said Governor Pence in a statement released by his office. “Since this marks the third time the Obama Administration has approved the Healthy Indiana Plan in its current form, we hope that this decision signals an openness by this Administration to move forward with approval of HIP 2.0, which is built on the same principles of personal responsibility and consumer choice.”
In fact, the ongoing HIP 2.0 talks, according to Moser, include discussion about how to allow Hoosiers who might sign up now for health insurance to still be eligible for HIP 2.0 if it’s later approved. Industry experts see these specific details as a sign of optimism by both parties.
In the meantime, the HHS has granted approval for negotiated Medicaid expansion programs in Republican-led Arkansas and Iowa. In doing so, Medicaid will impose cost-sharing for beneficiaries below poverty level for the first time, as well withholding non-emergency transportation.
For more information about Indiana’s HIP 2.0, visit the Family and Social Services Administration’s HIP webpage.
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