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Indiana signups lag for federal health care law

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More than 40 percent of Indiana residents who could have chosen an insurance plan in the first year of the health care overhaul didn't enroll before the deadline, according to government figures released Thursday.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that a total of nearly 230,000 Indiana residents were eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan, but only about 132,000 had done so by the March 31 deadline.

Even so, the enrollment figures exceeded estimates from the federal government, which had projected that 125,000 Indiana residents would sign up by the deadline.

Nearly 30 percent of those signing up in Indiana were ages 55 to 64. About one-fourth were 18 to 34. Nationally, the government said that 28 percent of those who selected a Marketplace plan were young adults.

Fifty-six percent of the Indiana residents who enrolled were women, and 44 percent were male. That is nearly the same as the national figure.

Nationally, the Obama administration says 8 million Americans chose a health plan.

Indiana chose not to set up a state health insurance exchange. Before taking office in 2013, Gov. Mike Pence said that setting up an exchange would cost the state too much money, and then-Gov. Mitch Daniels made Pence's stance official by notifying the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2012.

Daniels said he ceded the decision to his successor because the new system would go into effect during Pence's term.

Pence estimated that building the online marketplace, which would resemble Travelocity, would cost $50 million.

The bigger question for many of Indiana's poorer residents is what will happen with the state-run Healthy Indiana Plan. Pence has submitted a request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking to use the state-run program in place of a traditional Medicaid expansion. The state is still waiting on an answer to its request.

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  • ...Aren't you glad?
    Hey Hoosiers: Aren't you thrilled your government officials worked so hard to sandbag the healthcare reform that is now succeeding despite their best efforts? So in the end, all those people locked out of healthcare in our state are merely yet-more-evidence that our GOP overlords couldn't care less about what the people of this state need.

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  1. Can your dog sign a marriage license or personally state that he wishes to join you in a legal union? If not then no, you cannot marry him. When you teach him to read, write, and speak a discernible language, then maybe you'll have a reasonable argument. Thanks for playing!

  2. Look no further than Mike Rowe, the former host of dirty jobs, who was also a classically trained singer.

  3. Current law states income taxes are paid to the county of residence not county of income source. The most likely scenario would be some alteration of the income tax distribution formula so money earned in Marion co. would go to Marion Co by residents of other counties would partially be distributed to Marion co. as opposed to now where the entirety is held by the resident's county.

  4. This is more same-old, same-old from a new generation of non-progressive 'progressives and fear mongers. One only needs to look at the economic havoc being experienced in California to understand the effect of drought on economies and people's lives. The same mindset in California turned a blind eye to the growth of population and water needs in California, defeating proposal after proposal to build reservoirs, improve water storage and delivery infrastructure...and the price now being paid for putting the demands of a raucous minority ahead of the needs of many. Some people never, never learn..

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