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HIP 2.0 Attracts 18,000 Applicants In First Week

FSSA Secretary John Wernert

Photo: Gretchen Frazee

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary John Wernert speaks to a group of health care professionals at Eskenazi Hospital about HIP 2.0.

State officials say enrollment in the state’s expanded health insurance program, HIP 2.0, is off to a solid start.

In the first week of open applications, 18,000 Hoosiers have applied for the program — at least 14,000 of those applications were filed online.

State officials say, unlike HealthCare.gov at its launch, the HIP 2.0 website hasn’t experienced any technical difficulties.

Approximately 180,000 people were immediately enrolled when Gov. Mike Pence announced federal approval last week. Those people were already enrolled in other state health insurance programs such as the Healthy Indiana Plan.

HIP 2.0 is an alternative to traditional Medicaid expansion.

The federal government approved the program, which aims to cover the state’s 350,000 uninsured residents, last week.

State officials estimate 357,000 Hoosiers will sign up for HIP 2.0 in 2015, which includes the 180,000 automatically enrolled in the plan. They expect another 161,000 to enroll in 2016 with enrollment largely leveling off after that.

Applicants will receive coverage immediately after their applications are finalized and they begin to pay into their health savings accounts, if they qualify for the plan that requires them to do so. (Read our previous coverage for an outline of the three HIP 2.0 plan options or check out this infographic that explains the application process.)

During a presentation at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary John Wernert said Hoosiers will start seeing more advertisements for HIP 2.0 in the coming months.

“It may take a couple months before you see the TV spots and all that because we want to make sure we’ve got all the current applications processed and everyone is happy and things are working well and then we’re going to unleash a public advertising campaign,” Wernert said.

The State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, who is also an anesthesiologist at Eskenazi, says he is excited to get more people enrolled in the plan because he sees patients on a regular basis who could come into the hospital with serious conditions that could have been prevented if they had health insurance to pay for earlier doctors visits.

“We’re always trying to do what’s best for our patients, but having to do it with an eye to very limited resources, and the Healthy Indiana Plan is going to provide people with resources, provide Eskenazi, provide hospitals throughout Indiana with the resources they need to make sure these patients are getting in sooner and getting the care that they need,” Adams says.

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