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Six Months After Start, Groups Applaud HIP 2.0 Rollout

State of Indiana

It’s been nearly six months since HIP 2.0 was approved, and the state has enrolled nearly 300,000 Hoosiers in the health insurance program.  More than a dozen health care advocacy groups and insurers sang the praises of the program at a public forum Thursday.

As of July 1st, a little more than 289,000 residents have signed up for health care coverage through HIP 2.0.  186 thousand of them never had health insurance before.  And 70 percent of enrollees are using HIP Plus, which requires contributions to a health savings account. 

Indiana Minority Health Coalition Vice President Carl Ellison says he’s been impressed with HIP 2.0’s rollout - he didn’t think the state could get the program up and running so soon after it received federal approval.

“A lot of us didn’t think that you could take a complex program, educate people on it and get them to do the things they need to do, and do it in a smooth, transparent, well-done way, Ellison said, “but that, in fact, has happened.”

The public forum wasn’t entirely about kudos, though.  Ellison notes the state needs to ensure there are enough Spanish-speaking navigators who can guide people through the process of securing insurance. 

Covering Kids and Families policy director Caitlin Priest says future enrollees will likely need more in-person assistance.

“Which we fear may be harder to access in areas of the state not covered by our coalitions or with a more robust navigator bench,” Priest said.

The state expects to add at least another 60,000 Hoosiers to the program by year’s end.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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