Governor Sends HIP Waiver Request To DHHS
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – The fate of the state’s expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan is now in the hands of the federal government.
Governor Mike Pence submitted a waiver application for HIP 2.0 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday’s deadline. The waiver seeks to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan to 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers ages 19 to 64 living at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
The waiver seeks federal approval to use HIP 2.0 – detailed here – as an alternative to a traditional Medicaid expansion which states must make under the federal Affordable Care Act.
“Frankly, it’s very difficult for us to estimate how long that deliberation by federal officials and how long our negotiations may take,” Pence told reporters Wednesday.
About 4,500 Hoosiers are currently covered by HIP, which requires participants to pay up to $1,100 towards their medical care expenses. In an letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell accompanying the application, Pence said modifications to the waiver that would compromise HIP’s consumer-driven approach would cause the state to reassess the feasibility of expansion.
“For this reason, we have concurrently submitted a three-year waiver to extend the Healthy Indiana Plan under the same terms and conditions that exist today in order to protect current enrollees,” the Republican governor wrote.
Public comments taken during a 30-day period after the announcement of HIP 2.0 were included with the waiver application.