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New committee takes closer look at Medicaid – starting with questions about unwinding, costs

Representative Greg Porter standing during a legislative session with other representatives sitting down around him.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Rep. Gregory Porter (D-Indianapolis) asked Indiana Medicaid Director Cora Steinmetz, to clarify how long it takes to reinstate members who were disenrolled but were still eligible.

Indiana lawmakers want to evaluate the state’s Medicaid program and plans for the future. A new committee will look at requests for new services or changes to the program.

The first meeting of the Medicaid Oversight Committee included an overview of the Medicaid programs. This included an explanation of the state's public health emergency unwinding and “return to normal operations.”

Rep. Gregory Porter (D-Indianapolis) asked Indiana Medicaid Director Cora Steinmetz to clarify how long it takes to reinstate members who were disenrolled but were still eligible.

“How are we doing as a state to really, truly find those individuals so that they can maintain these services that we want to provide?” Porter said.

Steinmetz said her office has a team monitoring what is referred to as “churn,” and would follow up on Porter’s questions.

READ MORE: Advocates call on federal agencies to suspend two waivers in HIP, warning loss of coverage

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Steinmetz was also asked about increased costs for the program. She said one key factor is that around 400,000 more people could remain eligible for Medicaid who became members during the continuous eligibility period.

Most of that number is an increase in enrollment in the Healthy Indiana Plan. But Steinmetz said there are other factors leading to increased enrollment over time.

“There's additional categories of enrollment as we've extended coverage to the 12-month postpartum period, continuous eligibility for children for 12 months,” Steinmetz said.

Steinmetz also offered updates about the Medicaid rate review and timeline, as well as implementation of Managed Long Term Services and Supports.

The meeting did not include public testimony, but the chairperson said that will be available at the next meeting.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.