This is the second of a two-part series on proposed changes to Kentucky Medicaid and how Governor Matt Bevin wants to model the program after a similar one in Indiana. You can see Part 1 here.
When the federal Affordable Care Act was rolled out, Indiana was faced with the same dilemma as other states: give health coverage to more of the uninsured by expanding Medicaid, while taking on hundreds of millions of dollars in costs.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence persuaded the federal government to approve an alternative for his state. Just over a year ago, the state implemented the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin wants to launch a similar program as he looks to revamp his state's Medicaid system.
In the year since Indiana implemented the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, or HIP, more than 370,000 Hoosiers have enrolled in the program. Among them is Mary Buchanan, who is self-employed. A shoulder injury no longer allows her to work full-time. By working less, the 63-year-old from Rockport couldn’t afford the private insurance she used to carry. She picked up the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, or HIP, about a year ago.
"One less thing for me to worry about 24\7, said Buchanon, who met WKU Public Radio at the Spencer County Library. "What if something happens to me? Am I going to have to file bankruptcy? One trip to the hospital can wipe you out.”
Under HIP 2.0, Buchanan pays just under $14 a month in premiums and has no co-pays or deductibles for her medical care.