HIP At Capacity; Enrollment Halted
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Enrollment into the Healthy Indiana Plan – an insurance option for low-income Hoosiers – is being put on pause for now.
The state received authorization from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to stop enrollment in the program. Funding from Indiana’s tobacco tax cannot support any more than the 52,000 people currently enrolled in HIP, according to a news release from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.
In January, the program operating under a one-year waiver from CMS added 17,000 enrollees. At that time, capacity for the program was estimated at about 45,000 people.
HIP enrollment applications already submitted will continue to be processed. The FSSA said enrollment could reopen this year if some were to opt out of the program.
Earlier this year, Governor Mike Pence introduced his proposal for HIP 2.0, which he wants to be used in place of a Medicaid expansion required under the federal Affordable Care Act to cover 540,000 uninsured residents. A waiver application to allow HIP 2.0 was submitted to CMS on July 3 and is currently being considered.
“We remain hopeful for a timely response so that more low-income, uninsured Hoosiers will have the option of participating in the Healthy Indiana Plan,” said Joe Moser, Indiana Medicaid Director. “Unlike our current program, which has reached its peak capacity, HIP 2.0 would not be solely limited by the revenue from Indiana’s tobacco tax.”
If the state’s waiver request is granted, HIP 2.0 could begin accepting enrollees as soon as 2015.
The expanded program would offer coverage to all non-disabled adults ages 19 to 64 living below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Some participants would be required to pay their deductible from a health savings account funded in part by the state.