Medicaid expansion: Indiana should increase health care access for low-income Hoosiers
In 2013, Citizens Action Coalition joined the COVER INDIANA campaign, comprised of citizens, consumer advocacy organizations, religious groups, health care providers, and business and labor organizations groups around the state in a grassroots effort to expand Medicaid. The goal of COVER INDIANA is to demonstrate to Indiana Legislators and the Governor that Medicaid expansion is an economic issue and a moral issue, and that their constituents support expansion and want them to approve it.
Medicaid is a vital health insurance safety net program that provides access to health care for about 1 in 7 Hoosiers. Currently, Medicaid primarily serves children, low-income pregnant women, people with disabilities, and families with children and seniors in need of long-term care.
Many people incorrectly believe that today, if you are poor enough or sick enough you will qualify for Medicaid. Non-disabled/non-pregnant, childless adults under 65 cannot get Medicaid, no matter how poor they are. A working family of three (two parents and one child) is not eligible for Medicaid if their income is more than $4,582 a year.
The Affordable Care Act provides a wealth of resources for states to make sure low-income Hoosiers have access to affordable health insurance. It will allow a single adult with income up to $15,415, or a family of three with income up to $26,344, to gain coverage.
According to a recent report by the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Center for Health Policy, expanding Indiana’s Medicaid program would:
- Generate $3.4 billion in new economic activity in the state.
- Result in at least $108 million in additional state and local tax revenue each year.
- Support more than 30,000 jobs through 2020.
- And most importantly, provide over 406,000 Hoosiers with access to potentially life-saving preventative care and treatment
Indiana needs to do the right thing and accept the federal funding in order to benefit all Hoosiers!
If Indiana chooses not to accept federal dollars that are already designated for the state, our tax dollars will be used in neighboring states that decided to expand their Medicaid programs. Indiana will lose out on up to $26 billion over the next seven years in federal money. It will drive up premiums for people with private health insurance. Thousands of Hoosiers will go uninsured – unable to enroll in Medicaid and barred from getting tax credits to buy coverage in a health insurance exchange.