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Correction: Health Overhaul-Indiana story

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm •  Published: November 15, 2012
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — In a story Nov. 14 about Indiana and the federal health law, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Caroline Pearson works for Avelere Health Care. She works for Avelere Health.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Pence not ruling out health partnership with feds

Gov-elect Pence opposes state-run health exchange, not ruling out federal partnership

By TOM LoBIANCO

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov.-elect Mike Pence has ruled out building a state-run health insurance exchange but appears to be leaving open the option of running a joint venture with the federal government as a critical decision deadline draws near.

State leaders have until Friday to declare whether they will manage their own programs for providing insurance plans under the federal health care law. And even though he won't be inaugurated for another six weeks, Pence will provide Indiana's answer to the Department of Health and Human Services under an arrangement outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels worked out with this year's gubernatorial candidates.

Pence, a longtime opponent of President Barack Obama's law, has said a state-run exchange would be too expensive and also has cast doubt on expanding the number eligible for Medicaid. But opposing a state exchange would not necessarily rule out a "hybrid" system of state control over federal resources, based on deadlines set by the Obama administration.

"It's just one step at a time," Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault said Wednesday. "Obviously Mike has been clear on his positions. We'll simply be expressing that again to the governor before Friday's deadline."

On the face of it, uninsured Indiana residents are unlikely to notice much difference between a federal health insurance exchange, hybrid plan or state-run system in the coming years.

Any option would involve residents logging onto a website and selecting pre-approved health plans with basic amounts of coverage and, according to estimates provided by the state to Indiana's gubernatorial candidates this summer, cost roughly $400 a month.

Open enrollment for exchange plans is scheduled to start Oct. 1, 2013, and coverage will be effective Jan. 1, 2014.

"To the consumer there should not be a major difference between the models," said Caroline Pearson, director in the health reform practice at Avelere Health, which advises health providers on the law. "... You're going to have a website where you buy insurance, and it shouldn't matter a lot to the consumer whether that website is designed and run by the federal government or designed and run by the state."

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