A new statewide effort is focusing on the importance of expanding health care coverage in Indiana. The Indiana Hospital Association points to a report showing the potential employer shared responsibility penalty in the state could be as high as $34 million if coverage is not expanded. It has launched the Expand Indiana initiative as Governor Mike Pence opens talks with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Healthy Indiana Plan serving as an alternative to Medicaid. February 25, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind. – Indiana Hospital Association announced today the launch of Expand Indiana, a statewide campaign to help citizens, legislators and business leaders understand the importance of expanding health care coverage in Indiana.
Expand Indiana will focus on coverage expansion throughout the remainder of the 2014 legislative session and beyond, at a time when Governor Mike Pence and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hold discussions regarding an expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) as an alternative to Medicaid.
“The goals of Expand Indiana are aligned with Indiana Hospital Association's active support of coverage expansion as a means to provide health care security to thousands of uninsured Hoosiers who would otherwise have no source of coverage,” said Doug Leonard, president of IHA. “As Governor Pence and his administration negotiate with the federal government to expand HIP, it’s important to understand that Hoosiers – and Hoosier businesses – fully support the State’s efforts to expand coverage in Indiana.”
According to a report by the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Center for Health Policy, expanding health care coverage in Indiana could generate up to $3.4 billion in new economic activity in the state and would support more than 30,000 jobs.
In states that do not expand coverage, large employers may pay substantially higher federal tax penalties. According to a report by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc., the potential employer shared responsibility penalty in Indiana could total $23 to $34 million.
“Thousands of Indiana families are unable to earn enough to qualify for tax credits and subsidies through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Leonard. “But, they earn too much to qualify for Indiana’s existing health care programs for the poor. Expanding coverage in Indiana would protect as many as 300,000 Hoosiers caught in the coverage gap without affordable health insurance options.”
To learn more about Expand Indiana and find ways to get involved, visit ExpandINCoverage.org.
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.Source: Indiana Hospital Association