Pence's Indiana Medicaid expansion plan surprises left, right — Administration using plan as national model
Former Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence's expanded Medicaid program is making a difference in Indiana, Politico reports.
The expansion introduced several conservative-leaning measures, like requiring beneficiaries to pay fees for coverage, and its approval created controversy in the state's Republican and Democratic parties. However, as the expansion begins its third year, the plan is working, Politico reports.
Here's what you should know:
1. Scott County, Ind., has one of the state's highest poverty rates. The county experienced a major HIV outbreak attributed to opioid abuse, but Medicaid beneficiaries were able to seek and receive care "without bankrupting the Hoosier state or punishing enrollees," Politico reports.
2. Statewide consumer group Covering Kids & Families of Indiana lauded the plan saying it was a success.
3. The Trump administration is taking elements of the Healthy Indiana plan and incorporating them into a national Medicaid program. Kentucky and Arizona already incorporated parts of Indiana's plan and its expected Wisconsin will soon follow suite.
4. Some groups were critical of Indiana's plan. Although rarely used, the state stops people above the poverty line from receiving coverage for six months if they quit making payments.
If people below the poverty line stop making payments, the state downgrades their plan to options with higher out-of-pocket costs.
5. Critics believe the plan would erode enrollment gains if adopted nationwide — especially in states with Medicaid programs that have already been expanded under the ACA.
6. Current Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, asked the Trump administration to continue the plan through January 2021. The extension did not include a work requirement, which surprised analysts. It's expected a work requirement will be part of a national healthcare plan proposal.
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