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Indiana Prioritizing Health Care For High Risk Hoosiers

State officials are worried high-risk Hoosiers will not get health coverage by January 1 because of problems with the Affordable Care Act's website.

wheelchair

Photo: Gretchen Frazee

Indiana had planned to phase out its aid to high risk Hoosiers because of the Affordable Care Act.

Indiana officials are responding to problems with the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges by focusing on Hoosiers most in need of healthcare coverage.

For 30 years, Indiana provided insurance coverage to those known as the high risk pool – very ill Hoosiers who had been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act ended the need for that system, and the state has been slowly shutting it down.

But enrollment in health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act has been complicated by problems with the marketplace website.

Indiana Department of Insurance Deputy Commissioner Logan Harrison says the state is prioritizing continuity of care for those in the high risk pool.

“We’re going to try and operate it as long as until the federal government gets its act together and gets this website up and going so that these individuals can enroll and get an effective coverage date on Jan. 1,” Harrison says. “But if they can’t do that, we’re not going to pull the rug out from underneath them.”

The Obama administration has not indicated whether it will extend the open insurance enrollment period, which is scheduled to end in March.

When lawmakers pushed Harrison Tuesday for more information, Harrison said couldn’t provide any and didn’t want to speculate.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS 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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  • E Harris

    A 3-12 month delay seems more likely than ever before. Glitches are becoming more prevalent and the tax for purchasing healthcare is now more unpopular because of delays in enrollment. We’ll probably know within a few weeks.

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