Governor Mike Pence Tuesday announced that federal officials have approved his healthcare expansion plan known as HIP 2.0. Pence says it’s an effort that will reform and improve Medicaid in what he calls “the Indiana way.”
Federal officials approved essentially everything Governor Pence asked for. The program includes HIP Basic, a default plan for poorer Hoosiers that doesn’t require them to pay into a health savings account but comes with fewer benefits and includes co-pays.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that closely-held companies like Hobby Lobby can refuse to cover the cost of contraceptives for religious reasons.
The ruling has major implications for private companies that do not want to fall in line with the Affordable Care Act, and it could indicate whether nonprofit religious institutions including the University of Notre Dame will be required to comply with the law.
Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration is preparing for implementation of HIP 2.0, its healthcare expansion plan, even though federal approval of the program could still be months away.
Only Hoosiers earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level – about $24,000 for a family of four – are eligible for the current Healthy Indiana Plan. That leaves more than 300,000 people without affordable health insurance coverage. HIP 2.0 would expand that up to 138 percent of the poverty level – about $33,000 per year.
Researchers studying a system used to track prescription drugs dispensed in Indiana say it’s widely effective for monitoring patient prescription drug use. Nearly six thousand prescription drug providers were surveyed over the last two years to complete the research.
The current version of the INSPECT system that’s been in place since 2004 is a tool meant to help combat prescription drug abuse. About 77 percent of survey respondents –including doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists, say they know about INSPECT, and 71 percent of those use it.
Results from an internal audit of the Veterans Affairs Department say the Indianapolis VA medical center requires further review.
The internal audit was convened in the wake of the VA scandal that uncovered manipulated schedule times and falsified waiting lists at facilities across the country, leading to lapses in patient care and, in some cases, deaths.
Westchester Medical Center recently had to reverse positions. Their decision to refuse all insurance plans available on the New York Health Insurance Exchange was met with moral outrage. As a result, they now accept one of the seven plans available.
The Healthy Indiana Plan, the state’s health insurance program for low-income Hoosiers, has added all the applicants from its waiting list to the program for 2014. But that list was dramatically shorter than in previous years.
Last year, more than 50 thousand Hoosiers were on the waiting list for the Healthy Indiana Plan. When the federal government approved the program’s renewal for 2014, it changed the scope of the program, forcing the state to lower the income eligibility ceiling.