Gov. Daniels Asks Feds Not to Trash State Health Program; Will they Listen?


Gov. Mitch Daniels recently sent a formal request to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking federal officials not to terminate the state’s Healthy Indiana Plan, which has many satisfied participants and 99% planning to renew their coverage, according to the state of Indiana.

The state has sent several letters to Health and Human Services representatives requesting answers to questions about utilizing HIP as the program to serve Indiana’s newly-eligible Medicaid recipients beginning 2014. So far, there has been no guidance.

Here is a link to the governor’s letter: http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Press/011411letter.pdf

Previous correspondence may be found at this link: http://www.in.gov/aca/2330.htm

Executive Order authorizes establishment of state healthcare exchange

The governor also has signed an executive order authorizing the Family and Social Services Administration to work with other state agencies to conditionally establish and operate a state-based healthcare benefit exchange. The steps taken will be preparatory only and do not connote a decision to put a state-run exchange in place.

According to Affordable Care Act (ACA), states are required to establish a health benefit exchange by January 1, 2014. The federal government will establish exchanges for states that have not made adequate progress by January 1, 2013.

The governor said it is in Hoosiers’ best interest to begin to put a framework in place. There has been little information or guidance from the White House about how a federally-based exchange would operate.

“The nation will be best served by the repeal of this expensive and unworkable law, or by its judicial overturn. But for now, there seems no alternative but to prepare for the possibility that Indiana will try to operate an exchange of some kind,” said Daniels.

Individuals and small businesses will use health exchanges to find, compare and enroll in health insurance plans and to obtain federal tax credits for premium expenses. It is estimated that at least 1.4 million Hoosiers will use the exchange; however, the numbers are likely to increase as businesses and individuals drop their existing health insurance to receive tax credits.

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