Advocates are pressuring Gov. Mike Pence to expand health care for low-income Hoosiers ahead of his meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this weekend.
Pence and Sebelius plan to discuss whether Indiana could use the Healthy Indiana Plan, Indiana’s Medicaid alternative that requires participants pay into the program, as a way to expand health coverage.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of expansion up to 133 percent of the poverty level through 2016. The federal government’s burden would go down incrementally after that to 90-percent in 2020.
The governor says he will not expand Medicaid but would consider expansion using the Healthy Indiana Plan.
Indiana Coalition for Human Services was among a coalition that delivered 10,000 signatures this week to the governor‘s office, asking him to expand coverage.
ICHS President Mark Fairchild says the governor needs to accept the federal funding that will cover 400,000 Hoosiers who remain without coverage because they do not qualify for Medicaid, the Healthy Indiana Plan or federal health care subsidies.
“We need the governor to make the decision to create some kind of an expansion that does really fill this gap,” Fairchild says.
Fairchild says the governor is holding on to elements of the Healthy Indiana Plan that the federal government isn‘t likely to accept as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Gretchen Frazee contributed to this report.