Today, Governor Mike Pence met with Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius in Washington, D.C. to discuss how the state's innovative, consumer-driven Healthy Indiana Plan could be used to bring health coverage to more Hoosiers.
"I am grateful for Secretary Sebelius's openness to working with the State of Indiana to find a way to provide more Hoosiers with greater access to quality healthcare through the Healthy Indiana Plan," said Governor Pence. "Our administration remains committed to using the Healthy Indiana Plan's consumer-driven design, and appreciates the Secretary's willingness to identify areas of common ground that will allow us to use an Indiana solution to meet our shared goal of providing more healthcare options to Hoosiers in a fiscally responsible manner."
The meeting resulted from a letter Governor Pence sent to Secretary Sebelius on November 15, 2013 requesting a meeting to discuss the state's pending waiver to use the Healthy Indiana Plan as an alternative to the traditional Medicaid model for the expansion. In the letter, Pence cited the program's high customer satisfaction rates, positive outcomes, and lower healthcare costs over time.
In the meeting, Governor Pence affirmed the state's commitment to addressing Secretary Sebelius's concerns about required cost-sharing below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level while still maintaining the Healthy Indiana Plan's foundational principles of consumerism and personal responsibility.
The Healthy Indiana Plan's consumer-driven design has been credited with increasing use of preventative care and reduced expensive emergency room visits. It also has assured access to quality care by reimbursing providers at the higher Medicare rate.
The State of Indiana submitted a waiver request last year, seeking both an extension of the current HIP and permission to pursue expansion of health coverage using the Healthy Indiana Plan as a model. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted an extension of the current program in September 2013. Since then, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has continued to discuss with CMS the potential to use the Healthy Indiana Plan to provide health coverage to more Hoosiers.