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Pence's HIP 2.0 Approved

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Gretchen Frazee
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Indiana Public Broadcasting

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. 

There’s also HIP Plus, which requires participants  to pay into a health savings account but also comes with vision and dental and for the most part doesn’t  include any co-pays.

Pence calls HIP 2.0 a first in the nation reform effort that covers the working poor.

“HIP 2.0 is not intended to be a long-term entitlement program. It’s intended to be a safety net that  aligns incentives with human aspirations and gives Hoosiers access to the kind of coverage that will help  improve their lives and also improve their opportunities for success.” 

Those earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the program – that’s  about $33,000 a year for a family of four. Hoosiers can start applying immediately;  enrollment will begin February 1st. 

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.