- The HSA Coalition - http://www.hsacoalition.org -

Indiana Applies for Medicaid Waiver to Implement HSA-like Health Indiana Plan 2.0

The State of Indiana yesterday submitted two waiver requests to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The first requests a waiver to establish the ambitious Health Indiana Plan 2.0 (HIP), which has two separate plans as part of Medicaid, as explained by this infographic [1], and this FAQ [2]. Plus, it has a separate benefit link plan to help move people off of Medicaid and onto private plans.

I am so impressed by the Health Indiana Plan 2.0 and the national leadership of Governor Pence. Indiana is the only state in the Union that has anything like an HSA-like plan for Medicaid, and Governor Pence is expanding it and improving it, all within the construct of existing Medicaid laws and an Obama White House.

This is no small trick. Governor Pence is leading and innovating to bring personal responsibility and choice within the construct of helping low income Americans in Medicaid to become insured under the income bands that the ObamaCare Exchange does not cover. The half-empty crowd may see this as expanding Medicaid. I’m in the half-full crowd, and I see this as expanding HSA-like plans, into places they must go to become widely accepted and used.

There is now a thirty-day state comment period for Hossiers, and then a federal comment period about HIP 2.0. Once those comments are reviewed, CMS must make a decision about the continuation of the original HIP waiver by about Labor Day of this year, or the State of Indiana will have to issue termination notices for those on the Healthy Indiana Plan. Alternatively, CMS could also approve HIP 2.0 by that time.

I am especially impressed by the massive adoption of HSAs by the State employees of Indiana (96%) and it clear that Governor Pence is carrying out the great quest for health care reform by moving HSA-like plans into Medicaid, and Indiana is the only place it is being done now, but Governor Pence has taken it one step further and is expanding and improving on the original HIP 1.0.

My hat is off to Governor Pence and his team for crediting the role of J. Patrick Rooney in the documentation about HIP 2.0. I trust Governor Pence and his team to do the right thing by bringing consumer driven health care plans to Indiana government workers and to completely re-design massive sections of the Indiana Medicaid program with HSA-like plans. CMS and other voices inside-the-beltway should trust Governor Pence to the right thing as well.