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Health Officials Unsure About Final Year Of State Aid

Many health facilities are trying to balance availability with cost.

State officials are still waiting to find out how the federal health care law will affect Indiana‘s own health plan for the uninsured.

Federal approval for the five-year-old Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP, was set to expire at year‘s end. In July, the government gave the green light for one more year.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration spokeswoman Marni Lemons says it‘s not clear whether the government has specific objections. The July letter says it‘s not granting any state program an extension beyond 2013, “in anticipation of the new coverage options available in 2014” under the federal health care law.

But the letter says officials will continue discussions of Indiana‘s options. Family and Social Services has proposed making HIP the vehicle for the federal law‘s expansion of Medicaid in Indiana.

For purposes of its budget estimate to legislators, the agency is assuming next year will be the program‘s last, in order to allow the General Assembly to begin work on a new two-year budget while awaiting a final decision.

Lemons says HIP‘s 42,000 clients should see no change in 2013.

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