HHS has approved a Medicaid waiver that will allow Indiana to create a new health plan that could help about 120,000 low-income, uninsured residents access healthcare services. With the waiver, Indiana can begin accepting applications for its new Healthy Indiana Plan, which will extend health insurance to low-income parents of children now covered by Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program, as well as childless adults. To be eligible, enrollees incomes must not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level or $20,420 for an individual and $41,300 for a family of four based on 2007 guidelines.
To help with out-of-pocket costs incurred prior to the coverage threshold, individuals and the state will make contributions to a Personal Wellness and Responsibility, or Power, account. Any funds remaining in the account by years end can be rolled over to offset the following years contributions. In addition, no copayment will be required for services except use of an emergency room for nonemergency treatments. Benefits of the plan include physician services, prescription drugs, substance-abuse treatment and preventive services.
The Healthy Indiana Plan provides support for those with low incomes but also requires them to assume some responsibility for the cost of that care, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a news release. I am pleased to approve the waiver for this new program and hope other states will follow Indianas model of combining personal responsibility with public support to help those who are truly in need gain health coverage. -- by Jessica Zigmond