updated: 12/27/2007 11:49:36 AM

Hoosiers Hurry to Apply For Insurance Program

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

Nearly 4,500 Hoosiers have submitted applications for the new Healthy Indiana Plan in its first week. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says the state has funding to cover about 130,000 Hoosiers each year who do not have health insurance and are not eligible for Medicaid.

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Source: Inside INdiana Business

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Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS (December 27, 2007) – Thousands of uninsured low-income Hoosiers are signing up for the state’s innovative new Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), which goes into effect January 1.

Governor Mitch Daniels said today that in its first week, nearly 4,500 Hoosiers have submitted applications to the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) for coverage with the new plan. The state began to process applications on December 17 and has funding to cover about 130,000 Hoosiers annually who do not have health insurance.

“Passing landmark health care legislation was great. But seeing real people beginning to benefit from it is far better, so we are out to spread the word for all who might qualify,” said Daniels.

The HIP plan that will provide health insurance for uninsured adult Hoosiers 19 to 64 years old whose household income is 22 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level and who are not eligible for Medicaid. A family of four, for example, would be eligible if income does not exceed $41,300; the maximum income level for a family of two is $27,380. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently approved the state’s request for a Medicaid waiver, the final step toward implementation.

“HIP is a bold experiment that has already attracted national attention, and the early surge in applications from throughout the state is a clear sign that the need is great and that the people are ready to respond,” said David Roos, state program director for Covering Kids and Families of Indiana.

Among the first applications to receive approval – and likely representative of other Hoosiers who will obtain HIP coverage – is a young mother from Mishawaka who heard about HIP through a postcard she received in the mail. She works at a small insurance agency that does not offer health insurance and determined that that private insurance, at $600 a month, was out of her reach. Her monthly contribution will be $15.

Another early applicant who has been approved is a self-employed Ft. Wayne woman who has not had health insurance in more than 35 years. On occasions when she has been too ill to nurse herself back to health, she has visited the emergency room and struggle to pay off her bills. She will pay $12 a month for coverage.

HIP participants will have a Personal Wellness and Responsibility Account, known as a POWER Account. Contributions to the account are made by the state and participants, who are required to make a modest contribution based on their ability to pay (not to exceed 5 percent of gross annual income). Coverage for preventive services of up to $500 annually is included.

FSSA Secretary Mitch Roob said this component of HIP will not only offer health care coverage but encourage and reward Hoosiers to adopt healthy behaviors and utilize preventive measures of the plan, such as annual check ups.

More information about HIP is available at www.in.gov/fssa or www.hip.in.gov.

Source: Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

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