The cigarette tax in Indiana is scheduled to increase by nearly 44 cents per pack on July 1. The additional revenue has been earmarked for several purposes, including an expansion of health insurance coverage for low-income Hoosiers. Indiana Family and Social Services Secretary Mitch Roob says the expanded health care benefit is not an entitlement program, and Hoosiers who become insured under this program will have to pay to cover the premiums.
Roob is expecting federal approval of the program at any time, and contract proposals will be scrutinized during the next six weeks. Once the preliminary work is complete, Roob says the FSSA will begin an enrollment process. Roob says funding from the new cigarette tax is limited, so the insurance benefits are limited to those who sign up on a first come-first serve basis.