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Indiana Prioritizing Health Care For High Risk Hoosiers

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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.

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