Medicaid expansion in Indiana could cut the number of uninsured by more than half

A state whose governor is among the most fervent opponents of the Affordable Care Act would see its residents--and hospitals--benefit the most from the expansion of the Medicaid program, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Citing data from the Urban Institute and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the Star reported that the number of uninsured Indianans would drop nearly 55 percent if Medicaid was expanded, and would trim the overall level of non-elderly insured by more than half, from 17 percent to about 8 percent. Some regions of the state, such as Bloomington, home to Indiana University, would see the rates of uninsured drop by more than 60 percent.

Altogether, about 400,000 Indianans would receive coverage under Medicaid expansion.

However, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has questioned the effectiveness of Medicaid. He only wants to provide coverage to low-income Hoosiers through the expansion of Indiana Care, a Medicaid demonstration project that includes cost-sharing and caps to coverage, according to the Star. About 37,000 are enrolled in the program, with more than 50,000 on waiting lists.

"Governor Pence has made clear...that any discussion on a potential coverage increase must start with the Healthy Indiana Plan. As our current waiver expires at the end of this year, the first priority is to secure an extension of the current program," Pence spokesperson Kara Brooks told the Star.

The Urban Institute report comes on the heels of an inaccurate claim by the Indiana Department of Insurance that Hoosiers purchasing individual coverage on the state exchange would rise more than 70 percent on average.

To learn more:
- read the Indianapolis Star article
- here's the Kaiser/Urban Institute interactive report