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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. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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