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Indiana gets 1-year extension for Healthy Indiana Plan

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana has received a one-year extension of its consumer-driven health insurance program for the working poor.

There are currently about 37,000 Hoosiers on the Healthy Indiana Plan who would have lost insurance as of Jan. 1 without the new extension.

“I believe that securing the waiver to continue the Healthy Indiana Plan is a victory for Hoosiers enrolled in this innovative program, and it will ensure that Indiana remains in the forefront of consumer-driven health care in the United States,” Gov. Mike Pence said.

The Healthy Indiana Plan is a mix of state and federal dollars, and covers some Hoosiers who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy insurance on the open market.

It also requires those participating to share in the cost of the program.

Some changes as part of the extension include shifting about 11,000 Hoosiers from the state program to new federal health care exchange subsidies.

And HIP can grow modestly to about 45,000 enrollees. Right now there are 55,000 people on the waiting list though it is unclear how many on the list are still in need of insurance.

While the extension continues coverage for HIP participants, the Pence administration has refused to expand Medicaid to cover up to 400,000 more Hoosiers.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a statement saying “we encourage all states to adopt the Medicaid funding made possible by the Affordable Care Act, which provides 100 percent federal funding for three years and never falls below 90 percent federal funding for people newly eligible for Medicaid.

“We look forward to working with Indiana and all other states in bringing a flexible, state-based approach to Medicaid coverage expansion and encourage the state to explore these options.”