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Indiana Preps HIP 2.0 Ahead of Federal Approval

Brandon Smith
Indiana Public Broadcasting

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. 

A mandatory public comment period for the proposed plan ends Saturday and the state will submit its request for approval to the federal government by the end of June. 

FSSA Secretary Debra Minott says her agency is moving forward on the assumption the feds will approve the plan.

“We recognize that we’re getting started ahead of the game,” Minott said, “but if we wait until we know definitively what everything is, we definitely will not have enough time.”

Minott adds preparations are purposefully flexible in case the federal government makes changes to Indiana’s proposal, or rejects the plan entirely.

“You know, some of this work that we’re doing will actually help us even manage the existing program more efficiently than it’s done today, so it’s really a win-win,” Minott said.

The state is aiming to roll out HIP 2.0, if approved, by April 2015.

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.