IBJNews

State officials explain extension for Healthy Indiana Plan

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A top state official on Monday defended efforts to extend the Healthy Indiana Plan by a year rather than immediately expand Medicaid, explaining to lawmakers that it was federal officials — not Gov. Mike Pence — who pushed for changes to who qualifies for the state-run program.

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott took questions on the Healthy Indiana Plan two weeks after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed off on a one-year extension and some sizable changes to the program, including a new limit on earnings.

The state will soon only accept residents earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty, or $11,500 for a single adult. It now takes individuals earning up to 200 percent of the poverty level, although the program also has an extensive waiting list. The change, Minott said, should allow the state to increase enrollment from 35,000 to 45,000 low-income residents.

Pence originally sought to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law using the state-run plan, a move that would have covered more than 400,000 uninsured residents. But that request was delayed while the state negotiated a continuation of the plan, which had been operating under a federal waiver set to expire at the end of the year.

"The initial application we filed in April included expansion as a whole, and the governor requested that we deal with the issue sequentially because he was concerned that the negotiations may become protracted and that the current participants in HIP may be left hanging at the end of the year," Minott told members of the General Assembly's Health Finance Commission.

She later noted it was CMS officials who sought to lower the eligibility cap, not Pence officials. CMS didn't immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Opponents of expanding Medicaid say it would cost the state too much money, while supporters argue inaction will deprive Indiana of billions of dollars in federal aid.

Democratic lawmakers, vastly outnumbered in both the Senate and House, continued to raise their frustrations over the delay and a lack of clear answers from the Pence administration.

"It's very much of a concern," said Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington. "For instance, IU Health has announced it will have 800 layoffs. Part of that is because they're restricted based on provisions in the Affordable Care Act and because Indiana has not gone ahead and accepted the Medicaid expansion."

The Medicaid debate comes just ahead of the opening of the federal exchange residents will use to buy coverage. Indiana's federal-run exchange is set to open Oct. 1, and plans must be purchased by Jan. 1.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

ADVERTISEMENT