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State Begins Negotiations Over HIP, Health Care Expansion

Federal and state officials are negotiating whether Indiana can expand health care coverage using its Medicaid alternative, the Healthy Indiana Plan.

Debra Minott

Photo: Brandon Smith

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott discusses the Healthy Indiana Plan.

Since taking office in January, Governor Mike Pence has been singularly focused on extending the Healthy Indiana Plan for another year. The federal government granted that extension earlier this month.

Pence’s administration has now shifted focus to health care expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott says the state wants to expand health insurance coverage to more Hoosiers using the Healthy Indiana Plan.

When questioned by lawmakers Monday whether there is a chance the federal government will allow the state to expand health insurance coverage using HIP, Minott says she believes Indiana is “in the ballpark.”

She says there will be a teleconference with federal officials this week to go over questions each side has, including federal misgivings about HIP’s health savings accounts.

“They’re concerned, for instance, that our contributions to a POWER account are really a premium,” Minott says. “And we’ve had extensive discussions with them to explain to them that there is a significant difference between a contribution to a savings account and an insurance premium.”

She did not give a timetable on when the federal government might make a decision.

Indiana Family and Social Services Secretary Debra Minott

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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