Governor Pence Announces Expansion To Healthy Indiana Plan

By Ian Hoover- 21Alive
By Jeff Neumeyer

May 15, 2014 Updated May 15, 2014 at 5:39 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced today his plan to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan as an alternative to Medicaid.

The Healthy Indiana Plan uses a mixture of federal money and money from cigarette taxes, among other sources, to help reduce a gap in coverage created by people who can't afford insurance but make too much to qualify for medicaid.

It is considered a consumer-directed model that not only attempts to reduce the coverage gap, but also works to replace traditional medicaid in Indiana for non-disabled adults. The essential idea is to make private insurance affordable for those who can't afford it by reducing its cost for those who meet certain eligibility requirements.

The expansion aims to increase the eligibility threshold from those earning 100% of the federal poverty level ($11,670 for an individual and $23, 850 for a family of four) to 138% of the federal poverty level ($16,105 for an individual and $32,913 for a family of four). It will also see the removal of a cap on the number of enrollees and will be extended to all adults who qualify. Currently, the number of enrollees is capped at 36,500.

The plan rests on approval from the Federal Government to continue Indiana's waiver of the Affordable Care Act's medicaid expansion. States that present their own plan to provide coverage to low-income individuals were allowed opt out of ACA's medicaid expansion.

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