(Undated) – Indiana would witness one of the most significant drops in the rate of uninsured residents in the nation if it adopts a Medicaid expansion, a new report claims.
The report titled "Zooming in on Health Reform: Understanding the Potential Impact of the ACA on Medicaid and the Uninsured at the Local Level" from the Urban Institute commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation was released last week. It calculates Indiana’s uninsured population would drop by 54.6 percent if Medicaid is expanded.
The report drilled down to local regions as well. The southeast region covering the Eagle 99.3 listening area and from Columbus, Jeffersonville, and New Albany would see a 54.3 percent decrease in its uninsured population.
Medicaid eligibility is expanded under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states cannot be forced to adopt the expansion.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence and other Republican leaders are opposed to expanding Medicaid in favor of using the state’s Healthy Indiana Plan to cover uninsured residents. The state is currently negotiating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on an exemption.
Estimates have shown that more than 400,000 residents would qualify for Medicaid if it is expanded. The Healthy Indiana Plan currently covers about 37,000 Hoosiers, with another 53,000 on a HIP waiting list.
Unlike Medicaid, HIP has a cap on the number of participants and doesn’t cover all the medical services Medicaid does. HIP participants are also required to share in the costs.
According to the report, the Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid to cover individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or from $145,856 in annual income to $26,951 for a family of three.
The complete report with an interactive map can be viewed online at http://kff.org/interactive/zooming-in-health-reform-medicaid-uninsured-local-level/.