128960821In a dramatic reversal, Governor Mike Pence announced his plans to advance private, market-based Medicaid reforms in Indiana. The Governor unveiled what his Administration calls HIP (Healthy Indiana Plan) 2.0, what the Governor calls “a consumer-driven health care coverage program for low-income adults that builds on Indiana’s history of consumer-driven health care and would replace traditional Medicaid for all non-disabled adults”. HIP 2.0 adds choices for Hoosiers that further promote HIP’s consumer-driven model, while providing new incentives for members to take personal responsibility for their health. On Afternoons with Amos, Governor Pence and Brian Neale the Governor’s point person on health issues, explained the new plan and why it would add some 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers onto the Medicaid rolls.  Also appearing on Afternoons with Amos was State Rep. Charlie Brown, the leading Democrat in the legislature on health issues who helped co-author the original legislation that created the Healthy Indiana Plan in 2007.

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State Rep. Charlie Brown

Even though Brown is a Democrat, Charlie Brown told Afternoons with Amos listeners that he was “encouraged” by Governor Pence’s proposals, particularly the effort to increase the numbers of Hoosiers receiving health insurance.  Currently some 45,000 are covered by the Healthy Indiana plan.  That number could increase nearly ten fold under HIP 2.0. Among the changes in the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP): — A new HIP Employer Benefit Link plan that supports participation in employer-sponsored insurance plans — Maintaining and increasing HIP’s Personal Wellness and Responsibility (POWER) account, modeled after a Health Savings Account, from which members would pay for medical services. — A new option for families to be covered by the same health plan.  — Facilitating linkages to employment services and rewards individuals for securing employment and moving off public assistance. HIP 2 logoThe new HIP 2.0 will be an option for Hoosiers ages 19 to 64 with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which for 2014 is approximately $16,105 annually for an individual or $32,913 for a family of four. It creates a benefit structure similar to commercial health insurance plans. HIP 2.0 will not raise taxes and will be fully funded through Indiana’s existing cigarette tax revenue and Hospital Assessment Fee program, in addition to federal Medicaid funding. The new HIP 2.0 would create a HIP Plus plan, an enhanced benefit plan that covers dental and vision care. There would be a HIP Basic plan that provides all essential health benefits, without vision and dental care and with a less generous pharmacy benefit, and will require co-payments for all services. The Pence Administration believes their HIP 2.0 plan alleviates the coverage gap created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and eliminates current enrollment limitations in the Healthy Indiana Plan. Also unlike traditional Medicaid, the Healthy Indiana Plan reimburses providers at 100 percent of the higher Medicare rates, ensuring more provider participation and leading to greater access to health care services. HIP 2.0 adds maternity benefits to the Healthy Indiana Plan program and removes annual and lifetime limits. There will be a 30 day formal public notice and comment period during which Hoosiers can review the waiver and submit comments to the State. During the public comment period the State will conduct two separate formal public hearings that can be attended in-person or by phone or webcast. Click the Link to Get More Information about the HIP 2.0 Plan. Click to Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0 Website Download the Documents and Read About Key Parts of the Plan Yourself. Info Graphic on HIP 2.0 Plan   HIP 2.0 Financing Overview Detailed HIP 2.0 FAQ  Click the Audio Link to Hear Amos’ Interviews with Gov. Pence, Rep. Charlie Brown and Brian Neale explaining HIP 2.0. Runs 27 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.