A group of non-profits organizations sent a letter to Governor Eric Holcomb this week, urging him to reconsider a new Healthy Indiana Plan, HIP, rule.
More than 400,000 Hoosiers are currently enrolled in HIP which is Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program. Last month the state became the second state to receive federal permission to add a work requirement.
Director of Institute for Working Families Jessica Fraiser says similar moves for other programs like SNAP and TANF haven’t worked.
“What tends to happen is that we don’t see big numbers of poverty reduction, we don’t see big numbers of labor force participation climbing, but what we do see is a lot of folks losing those benefits,” says Fraiser.
The group says the people on HIP who can work are already doing so, they also say many will be unable to navigate the requirement process and be locked out of their insurance.
Fraiser says the state should instead, address work barriers.
“We need to figure out what those barriers are, some of them are academic, some of the non-academic but we know that skills training is in the mix and work on those barriers instead of having mandatory work requirements,” Fraiser says.
Indiana’s rule does have a number of exemptions including people who are going to school or caring for a disabled adult or child.
The changes will not go into place until 2019.
The group of organizations calling on Holcomb to reverse the work requirement decision includes the Indiana State Conference NAACP, Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Indiana Institute for Working Families, Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, Faith in Indiana (formerly IndyCAN) and People of Faith for Access to Medicines.