The state posted an amendment to its pending request to renew its conservative Medicaid expansion model, known as Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, for an additional three years. Under the plan, Medicaid enrollees would have to be employed or searching for work in order to be eligible for the program.
The state believes its healthcare costs could go down if the request is approved. “In general, employed individuals are both physically and mentally healthier, as well as more financially stable, as compared to unemployed individuals,” the amendment said.
The state wants to require all able-bodied HIP participants to either work on average 20 hours per week; be enrolled in full-time or part-time education; or participate in a job search and training program in Indiana. The state is accepting comments on the request until June 23.
Several other states have said they will add similar requirements to their Medicaid programs. Maine announced in April that it would ask the CMS for permission to overhaul its Medicaid program and include a work requirement. Kentucky has already submitted its similar request, and Arizona has announced plans to submit one as well. Florida and Ohio lawmakers are drafting legislation to order their state health departments to seek similar waivers that would include work requirement provisions.
HIP 2.0 was developed by CMS Administrator Seema Verma and federal Medicaid director Brian Neale when they worked in the administration of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who is now vice president; Verma was a consultant and Neale a health policy director.
Under Healthy Indiana 2.0 plan, beneficiaries pay premium contributions, have health savings accounts, get incentives for healthy behaviors, and a face a benefit lockout if they don’t pay premiums.
Virgil Dickson reports from Washington on the federal regulatory agencies. His experience before joining Modern Healthcare in 2013 includes serving as the Washington-based correspondent for PRWeek and as an editor/reporter for FDA News. Dickson earned a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University in 2007.