Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, urged HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a Jan. 14 letter to override her staff's expected termination of a waiver that authorized the state's version of Medicaid, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan. Staff at HHS already indicated to state officials that they don't plan to renew the waiver, which is set to expire at the end of 2012, according to Daniels' letter. The state had planned to continue the program indefinitely, including after 2014 when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require all states to vastly expand access to their Medicaid programs.
Hoosier governor presses Sebelius on Medicaid waiver
The federal opposition to HIP stems from its requirement that beneficiaries contribute copayments for medical services they receive, which is one of the program’s cost-control tactics. Those copayments are funded through medical savings accounts assigned to each beneficiary.
Daniels’ letter is his third appeal to Sebelius on the issue in nine months, according to a Jan. 14 news release from the governor’s office.
State surveys of HIP participants have found high rates of satisfaction. The governor’s news release noted that 99% of HIP beneficiaries polled planned to renew their coverage. In addition, HIP participants report lower emergency room use and higher preventive services use than other Medicaid populations.
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