INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — In a story Feb. 26, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the Indiana Senate approved expanding Medicaid through a federal block grant using the format of the state's Healthy Indiana Plan. The Senate bill authorizes Gov. Mike Pence to seek the block grant but doesn't commit the state to a Medicaid expansion. Lawmakers will review any response from the federal government before signing off on an expansion.
A corrected version of the story is below:
The Indiana Senate voted Tuesday to authorize Gov. Mike Pence to expand Medicaid using the format of the state's Healthy Indiana Plan and ask the federal government for a block grant to pay for the estimated 400,000 low-income residents who would qualify for coverage.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley said the proposal is "setting the stage for a discussion today" without making a final decision on expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law. He added that lawmakers would have a final say on the issue after hearing back from the federal government on the proposal.
Pence and the Republican-led General Assembly have beaten back efforts by Democrats to expand coverage using the traditional federal-state Medicaid program for the poor. Instead, they say, expansion should be done either through the Healthy Indiana Plan or a similar state-run program, giving the state more control over costs.
Expanding HIP would cost the state roughly 3 percent less than expanding Medicaid, State actuary Milliman Inc. estimated in a Feb. 25. However, supporters say HIP would promote more responsible decisions by enrollees.
HIP currently covers about 40,000 low-income residents who don't qualify for Medicaid. Some Indiana lawmakers want to use HIP to expand Medicaid as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.