INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has stopped current enrollment to its current Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), a program created back in 2008 to provide health insurance to low-income families at or below of the federal poverty line.
The state sets a limit on how many people can sign up. It can only handle 45,000 people a month for the program because of the $112 million set aside from the Indiana Tobacco Tax to fund it.
As of last month, state officials have reached way beyond their limit with more than 47,000 people signed up for last month. An additional 5,000 people signed for this month, putting the total at more than 52,000 people, 7,000 more than its limit. The state is still processing those applications.
The Indiana Family and Social Service Administration spokesperson, Jim Gavin, said those additional families and individuals would be covered under the this year’s plan. He said the program has gotten popular with in the last few months because health care providers have been referring their uninsured patients to the program.
“There are a lot of people in Indiana who work hard to help people to get coverage they need,” said Gavin. “There are organizations like Covering Kids and Families ClaimAid, the hospital and doctors themselves they help people who are uninsured find coverage options.”
The state plans to release a modified version of HIP next year, if it’s approved by the federal government, called HIP 2.0. Once approved, the new model will have more than one funding source, which will allow more Hoosiers to sign up. It will also take care of the coverage gap for those individuals or families who are just over the poverty level, but still don’t make enough to buy health insurance. The plan will provide more services such as dental, vision and maternity care, which isn’t offered through the current program. HIP 2.0 will have different pathways to coverage, and more.