Healthy Indiana Plan seeks extension until Jan. 31, 2021

Healthy Indiana Plan seeks extension until Jan. 31, 2021

As U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican Congressmen are pushing ahead with their plan to repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Vice President Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana on Tuesday sought to extend a regulatory waiver and funding for the healthcare program for the next many years.

Indiana requested the Trump administration to allow it to extend its package of incentives & penalties intended to encourage low-income Medicaid families to adopt healthful behaviors until Jan. 31, 2021.

Under the state program, beneficiaries have to pay premiums for getting health savings accounts. They can lose their benefits in case they miss payments.

V.P. Pence is now in support of the idea to repeal ACA, which is also known as Obamacare, but the Healthy Indiana Plan that he had launched in 2015 as the state’s governor has provided Medicaid coverage to more than 350,000 residents.

In its request, Indiana said continuing the Medicaid expansion would cost it an estimated $1.5 billion but it would bring it $8.6 billion in federal funding from 2018 to 2020.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, said, “Indiana has built a program that is delivering real results in a responsible, efficient, and effective way. I look forward to maintaining the flexibility to grow this remarkably successful tool and to preserve our ability to respond to the unique needs of Hoosiers.”

Indiana’s request demonstrates how even Republican-controlled states that expanded their Medicaid health programs under the ACA have become dependant on additional federal dollars to pay for those expansions.

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