HHS Approves Medicaid Waiver For Low-Income Indiana Residents

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HHS on Friday announced the approval of a Medicaidwaiver in Indianathat will permit the state to enroll low-income residents in astate-subsidized, high-deductible health care that includes provisions similarto health savings accounts, CQ HealthBeat reports (CQ HealthBeat,12/14). To qualify, residents' incomes must be less than 200% of the federalpoverty level, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports.

Beneficiaries will make payments to the Personal Wellness and Responsibilityaccount based on an incremental scale, with contributions not exceeding 5% ofthe family's income. The account will cover up to $1,100 of their medicalexpenses. Once residents reach that deductible, private insurance purchased bythe state will take effect (Freking, AP/Houston Chronicle, 12/15).Health benefits covered under the program include physician consultation,prescription drugs, home health services, in-patient and out-patient care,mental health and substance abuse treatment, and preventive services. Unusedfunds in the account can carry over to offset the following year'scontributions if the beneficiary has obtained age-appropriate preventive healthcare services, according to CQ HealthBeat.

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HHS Secretary Mike Leavittin a statement endorsed the program, saying that it is "critical thatevery state in this nation be thinking of creative new ways to help residentsgain access to health care, and, at the same time, working to make those ideasbecome reality" (CQ HealthBeat, 12/14). Indiana Gov. MitchDaniels

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