which needs the approval of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services, could cover as many as 350,000 uninsured Indiana residents who
earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. HIP currently provides
health savings accounts to about 40,000 people.
Indiana has been
seeking federal approval to use HIP, which was established in 2008 under
former Gov. Mitch Daniels, as its vehicle to cover more uninsured residents.
proposal would offer two tiers of coverage. The first would provide very
limited coverage at little or no cost to people with household incomes below
100 percent of the federal poverty level. A higher level called HIP Plus
would include dental and vision coverage, a comprehensive drug program and
maternity services. Participants would pay $3 to $25 per month, based on
A third option
would give workers who can’t afford their employers’ health care can help
with their premiums from the state.
The proposal would
use federal Medicaid funds and expand the state’s hospital assessment fee to
cover the cost.
In addition to the
public hearings, the FSSA said it will hold public meetings across Indiana
to discuss the proposal. The first one to be announced will be held at 11:30
a.m. EDT Thursday at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, near
The agency plans to
submit the proposed waiver to federal officials in late June. A 30-day
comment period ends June 21.