IBJNews

New estimate drops health plan's cost to Indiana

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A new estimate has lowered the expected cost of the federal health care overhaul to Indiana's state government to perhaps $2.6 billion over the next decade — $1 billion less than an initial projection made last spring.

That estimate given to state legislators by an outside actuary hired by the administration of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels drew criticism from some Democratic lawmakers.

Robert Damler of the actuarial consulting firm Milliman Inc. told the state's Medicaid oversight commission on Monday that new information provided by the federal government will drop the possible costs an additional $330 million. The firm in May had lowered its initial estimate to $2.9 billion.

The initial estimate of $3.6 billion assumed the Medicaid program would enroll all eligible Indiana residents — federal estimates project only about 80 percent — and that they will drop existing private insurance through employers and other means for the government coverage, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported.

The latest change is because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in late September changed its interpretation of the law regarding a prescription rebate program, which Damler said dropped Indiana's potential fallout to zero.

House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Crawford, D-Indianapolis, said that previous estimates had been $500 million for that expense.

"There's not a lot of confidence in this report," Crawford told WRTV.

Damler declined to remove an estimated $600 million in costs from the report that could come as a result of increased physician reimbursements. Several lawmakers pointed out that the increased reimbursements are not required under the federal law .

"This report is supposed to reflect the state's projected expenditures based on the act. I am looking forward to additional corrections," said Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington.

Damler said the federal act increases physician reimbursement rates for a two-year period and provides funding to cover the increase. After that, he said, states will likely have to pick up the cost even though it is not currently required.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration spokesman Marcus Barlow said the federal government has been slow to provide details, making it difficult to estimate the impact of the health care overhaul.

"As we get more information from the federal government, we are constantly revising what the estimates will be," he said. "Even under the best case scenario, that's still $2.5 billion we'll have to find somewhere."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • GOP web of disinformation
    Can you ever believe anything that comes from a Mitch Daniels appointed group/individual. They are in the business to report only the half trugh and not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why? to pay back WelPoint's big donations to the GOP and their sweetheart deals to their own and former execs.
  • Is this good news?
    Good article and coverage, but do these new figures reflect good news? I say no. In fact, I would argue that this development further underscores the biggest cost of the entire federal health care bill, uncertainty.
    An actuarial report swinging $1Billion dollars! I know we're jaded by big numbers these days, but the fact that our best actuarial estimates available first jumped up by billions then dropped back down by a billion on a month by month, seemingly day by day, basis should freak everyone out. The reason is that the Dems crammed this bill through without any thought of how it would be implemented or how complicated the rule making process would be, and i'm not even going to touch the merits of the bill in the first place.
    When the actuarial studies turn into actual tax dollars, anyone with a pulse knows it will be higher than they say. At this point it feels like the state is playing a game on the Price is Right and looking out to the crowd for the right number. Expect the estimates to change again and, if this report is any indication, change drastically. The bottom line is that the federal govt, by way of health care reform, has taken a dump in the taxpayers' cereal box and then asked us to be excited when we're able to pour out a few pieces that aren't covered in crap.

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