IBJNews

State extends high-risk pool because of Obamacare woes

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

State officials announced Thursday that they will extend Indiana’s high-risk insurance pool through the end of January to accommodate Hoosiers who have been unable to enroll in coverage through the federal marketplace.

The Indiana Comprehensive Health Insurance Association – often called ICHIA – provides coverage for roughly 6,800 individuals with significant medical needs. The program was scheduled to shut down at the end of the year.

“The state of Indiana will ensure that these Hoosiers, who are facing significant health care challenges, maintain their health coverage until the problems with the federal marketplace are resolved,” Gov. Mike Pence said in a prepared statement Thursday.  “While problems enrolling are an inconvenience to some, they could be a matter of life and death for these Hoosiers.”

Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Steve Robertson issued the order to extend the pool at Pence’s urging.

Robertson also sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for assurance that the federal exchange – a marketplace for coverage through the Affordable Care Act – will be fully operational by Feb. 1 if not sooner.

State Rep. Ed Delaney of Indianapolis, one of the leading Democrats in the state’s health care debate, said Thursday that state officials made a good decision to extend the high-risk insurance pool. But he said a better choice would be for Indiana to be operating its own marketplace.

Pence and former Gov. Mitch Daniels announced last year that Indiana would not create its own exchange under the Affordable Care Act, leaving the job to federal officials. Thirty-five other states made similar decisions. The resulting federal system has been plagued with technological problems that left many Americans unable to sign up for insurance. Meanwhile, many states that developed their own systems have had thousands of people sign up.

“These circumstances again point out the need for us to work with the federal government in setting up an exchange operated by the state of Indiana,” Delaney said. “I think we could do a better job than Washington in using the machinery of the Affordable Care Act to help protect the lives of Hoosiers. The governor needs to reconsider his actions in refusing to have a state-run exchange.”

The state created its high-risk insurance pool in 1982 to provide health care options for seriously ill Hoosiers who did not have access to coverage in the private market. Its users tend to have significant health care problems including cancer, hemophilia, HIV/AIDS or organ failure.

Last spring, the General Assembly passed a law dissolving the program because the patients would become eligible to purchase coverage through the federal marketplace. But state officials are now worried those patients won’t be able to sign up in time.

Because the state supplements the cost of the insurance, it will spend $6.3 million to extend the coverage for one month.

State officials said that if problems with the federal marketplace continues, they will reconsider extending the coverage again.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Source of Funds
    Is the Governor using some of the $7.8 million the Daniels administration took from the feds to establish an Exchange to cover these costs? Just wondered because there's no mention of where the money is coming from and we all know that Pence isn't that generous when it comes to providing healthcare to those who need it. As soon as the Federal Exchange is operational (and it will be) the folks in the high risk pool will find much better and less expensive policies on the Exchange, so this "grand gesture" is hardly necessary and, in reality, is just theater.
  • Medicaid
    Yes, expand medicaid and I can go to the doctor for a finger cut that only requires a band aid. I do not have to worry about a $6500 or more deductible as my neighbor.
  • Politics? Yes, of course.
    Yes, it is 100% politics that led us to not set up our own exchange. This was a strategy, and why several states waited until the 11th hour to announce they wouldn't be starting an exchange of their own. Which was the point: Make the Feds run an exchange for half the states so that prices are higher and technical challenges more pronounced. It isn't a surprise that states which embraced the concept of an exchange have ones that function better than the one imposed externally--it's too bad the states that chose not to were so wrapped up in the politics of "making Obama fail." Of course, since he's President, these people were (and are) cheering for the United States to fail. Which isn't super-patriotic, IMO.
  • Politics as usual?
    From everything I've read, the states that set up their own Obamacare exchanges are faring much better. Their sites are easier to sign up for, and rates are much cheaper with the Federal subsidies. Is our Governor playing Politics?
    • Expand Medicaid!
      They need to expand Medicaid as well, as was planned by the ACA. There is no reason to not do that, since millions of working Hoosiers do not get paid enough through their low-paying jobs to afford to buy it from private insurance companies.

      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. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

      2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

      3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

      4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

      5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

      ADVERTISEMENT