Hospitals Prepare For Health Exchange

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The Indiana Hospital Association says next week's launch of a health insurance marketplace could help hospitals deal with Medicare cuts. Vice President Brian Tabor says hospitals have been coping with roughly $4 billion in Medicare reductions over 10 years. Under the Affordable Care Act, those savings for the government are being used to help expand coverage for the uninsured. Tabor says the health plans available on the new marketplace could help hospitals recoup money lost through the reimbursement cuts.

September 25, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Hoosiers have less than a week until open enrollment begins for the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace. The Indiana Hospital Association and the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Inc. are preparing to help uninsured Hoosiers learn about and apply for the new health care coverage program operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Beginning Oct. 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace will allow eligible Hoosiers to compare health insurance options and enroll in a plan that meets both their needs and their budget. The six-month open enrollment period will run from Oct.1 until March 31, 2014, with the official launch of health care coverage through the marketplace beginning Jan.1, 2014.

Eligibility is generally available to middle-income people under age 65 who are not covered for health care benefits through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare. All plans must cover doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care and prescriptions, and no one can be denied coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. Low-cost plans and financial help is available to Hoosiers based on annual income through tax credits.

According to IHA President Doug Leonard, numerous statewide organizations have been aligning resources to help prepare for the enrollment.

"Hospitals and other groups throughout the state are looking for ways to educate people as we move forward with enrollment over the course of the next six months," said Leonard. "A clear understanding of the resources available to the public is of the utmost importance so that Hoosiers can select an insurance plan that best meets their budget and their health care needs."

Approximately 880,000 Hoosiers under the age of 65 do not have health insurance, an alarming fact that groups like the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Inc. are hoping the new Health Insurance Marketplace will be able to address.

"This is a critical time for statewide organizations to join in a collaborative effort to assist Indiana residents in achieving affordable health care, while improving the overall health and well-being of our state," said Philip Morphew, CEO of the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Inc. "Any organization – big or small – can play an important role in encouraging patients to enroll in new coverage options made available by the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace."

To enroll in the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Oct. 1, or for more information about Indiana health care eligibility, Hoosiers can access healthcare.gov.

###Indiana Hospital Association is a non-profit organization that serves as the professional trade association for 164 Hoosier hospitals. These members are either independent or a member of one of the 23 systems in the state. Membership includes hospitals, multi-hospital systems and community mental health centers. The mission of the IHA is to provide leadership, representation and services in the common best interests of its members as they promote the improvement of community health status. IHA’s primary responsibility is to represent the interests of hospitals in matters of public policy. IHA also provides members with education, communications and data collection services.

The Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Inc. (IPHCA), organized in 1982, advocates for quality health care for all persons residing in Indiana and supports the development of community-oriented primary care initiatives (including Community Health Centers, or CHCs) that are affordable, available, accessible, appropriate, and acceptable.

Source: Indiana Hospital Association