INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The test run of an Indiana program aimed at providing affordable health care to otherwise uninsured adults will be extended by a year as officials continue negotiating with the federal government about using it to expand Medicaid, Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday.
As part of a deal with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Pence administration will lower the amount residents can earn before they qualify for the state-run Healthy Indiana Plan while pushing more residents into the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange.
State leaders are trying to persuade CMS that the program should be used for the Medicaid expansion called for under PPACA, and the deal buys them more time.
Pence re-submitted former Gov. Mitch Daniels’ request earlier this year that HIP be used for an expansion of Medicaid and has spent the past month touting the program.
“I believe that securing the waiver to continue the Healthy Indiana Plan is a victory for Hoosiers enrolled in this innovative program,” Pence said.
As part of the federal approval, the state will cut in half the income cap for eligibility from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent. For a single adult, that means the new limit is earning $11,500 a year. Residents earning up to $22,300 already enrolled in the program will have to seek private insurance.
The move will allow the state to add a few thousand more residents to the program but is not expected to put a significant dent in the roughly 50,000 residents on the waiting list to enroll.