Learning more about Gov. Pence's plan for healthcare

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Indiana residents have a chance to learn more about Governor Mike Pence's new plan to expand healthcare in the state, especially to those who can't afford health coverage.

Governor Pence has been strong in his stance that he does not want to expand Medicaid in Indiana. His alternative is to expand the state-run Healthy Indiana Plan.  It currently covers 40,000 Indiana residents.  His proposal would increase that by another 350,000 people, but first, it must be improved by the federal government.

The plan includes, what the Governor calls, the first of it's kind Premium Assistance plan, called HIP Link, which helps employed low income Hoosiers access employer health coverage and two Health Savings Account Plans.

HIP Plus allows enrollees to pay a monthly premium anywhere from $3 to $25 dollars a month for enhanced coverage, or HIP Basic, which includes a co-pay for families living below 100% of the federal poverty level. That would mean a family of four living on $24,000 a year or less.

"Though it differs from expansion as contemplated by the Affordable Care Act, we think it is a viable alternative consistent with the approval of an 1115 waiver, and one that promotes personal responsibility and innovate provision not allowable under our conventional Medicaid program," said Paul Chase, deputy director of Covering Kids & Families.

We talked with a participant who's thrilled about the expansion.

"Without medical insurance you don't know if something wrong with you or not so that's the best opportunity for me so that I can see a doctor regularly," said Chiffon Peet.

The hearings will be held Wednesday and Thursday on the state government campus in downtown Indianapolis.

Wednesday's hearing begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Indiana Government Center South in Conference Center Room B. Thursday's hearing starts at 1:00 p.m. at the Statehouse in Room 156-B.

The state will submit the proposed waiver to federal officials in late June.