Local News
3:28 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Indiana Gets Extension of State-Run Health Plan as Medicaid Expansion Talks Continue

Indiana is being granted a limited extension of its Healthy Indiana Plan while state and federal health care leaders continue negotiating a possible Medicaid expansion.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved extending the state-run plan through the end of next year while lowering the income level for eligibility.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence says he’s "grateful" for the negotiations with the Obama administration and is still seeking to use the plan as a vehicle for Medicaid expansion.

Pence and legislative leaders had originally sought to use HIP to cover more than 400,000 uninsured residents under the federal Medicaid expansion. But Pence's health care advisers lowered their expectations following a June meeting with federal officials.

The extension through next year allows Indiana to add a few more thousand low-income residents to the Healthy Indiana Plan but cuts in half the maximum income a plan participant can earn.

The Indiana House Democratic Leader is calling news of the extension a "failure" by Gov. Mike Pence.

Rep. Scott Pelath of Michigan City says Pence is playing politics with more than 400,000 Indiana residents who would qualify for Medicaid under an expansion.