Significant efforts are underway to enroll area residents who are now eligible for health insurance through Indiana’s newly approved HIP 2.0 plan. The Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0, approved last week by the federal government, is designed to insure Hoosiers who have incomes between 100 and 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Of the more than 25,000 people in the Reid Hospital service area who remain uninsured, about half of them are eligible for HIP 2.0, hospital officials said. Most of those now eligible are working families who previously were ineligible for Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act insurance offered in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
“This is a very important thing for Indiana,” said Reid Hospital president and CEO Craig Kinyon. “We don’t have this gap in the middle anymore.” Reid and other businesses and organizations are planning special events and making more people available to help area residents sign up for the new plan. Reid is planning a special enrollment event for 3-6 p.m. Feb. 26 in Lingle Hall at Reid. Sara Hall, enrollment specialist with Meridian Health Services, was scheduled to answer Affordable Care Act and HIP 2.0 questions from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond.
“The state has done an awesome job with the HIP 2.0 program. Now that their plan has rolled out, I love it. It’s a great plan,” Hall said. “It will definitely help the people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough money to get a plan on the marketplace. I think it will be a great opportunity to get people in the door and offer them affordable health care.”
“You’ve got to at least investigate this,” Kinyon encourages area residents. “Don’t be constrained by past rejections. Don’t make the assumption that it’s the same as in the past.”
Generally, Hoosiers who qualify for HIP 2.0 are ages 19 to 64 with incomes of $16,297 for an individual, $21,967 for a couple and $33,307 for a family of four. Jessica Stanton, health insurance agent with VanVleet Insurance in Richmond, said some area residents who have been enrolled in an Affordable Care Act insurance plan through the health marketplace are now eligible for HIP 2.0. If eligible, they must enroll and cannot continue to use their marketplace plan.
“If someone becomes eligible for HIP 2.0 and does not make the conversion from Obamacare to HIP 2.0, they will have to pay all of the tax credits back when they file their taxes,” Stanton said.
The Health Marketplace might not recognize or terminate a person’s coverage automatically, so people need to update their account in the marketplace, according to Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration. Additionally, enrolling in HIP 2.0 might provide more comprehensive medical coverage than a marketplace plan, such as vision and dental services. Kinyon said there will be some understandable complications and confusion as area residents enter the enrollment process. That’s why Reid is arranging numerous sign-up sessions with representatives from ClaimAid, a company that Reid contracts to provide experts who work with customers to enroll them in Medicaid, HIP and HIP 2.0. ClaimAid’s services are provided at no charge to area residents.
“We’re going to spread this around like butter to get people engaged in the application process,” Kinyon said.
Area residents can begin signing up for HIP 2.0 right away at Reid’s Patient Financial Services office, Reid Urgent Care in Richmond, the main hospital campus and on Thursdays at Whitewater Valley Urgent Care in Connersville. Reid also is planning sign-up and informational sessions in the coming weeks in partnership with Richmond Community Schools, the United Way of Whitewater Valley, the Natco Empowerment Center and the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office. Palladium-Item reporter Bill Engle contributed to this story.
Where to enroll in HIP 2.0
•Reid Hospital Patient Financial Services office, 1501 Chester Blvd., which is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Phone (765) 935-8591.
•Reid Urgent Care, 1350 Chester Blvd., which is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Fridays. Phone (765) 983-7976.
•Reid Hospital main campus, 1100 Reid Parkway, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, although there might be a wait. Ask for directions at the Information Desk.
•Whitewater Valley Urgent Care, 1475 E. Indiana 44, Connersville, where a ClaimAid representative is available 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursdays. Phone (765) 827-8686.
•Special sign-up event, 3-6 p.m. Feb. 26, Lingle Auditorium, Reid Hospital, 1100 Reid Parkway.
•To schedule an information and sign-up session for a group or organization, call Sharrie Harlan in Patient Financial Services at (765) 983-3000, ext. 4676.
What’s needed to enroll
•Birth certificate, photo ID and the past 30 days of income verification (pay stubs, etc.) for each person in the household.
•Once enrolled, coverage should begin within 40 to 60 days.
What if you are enrolled in a Health Marketplace insurance plan but now are eligible for HIP 2.0?
•You must enroll in HIP 2.0 to avoid a tax penalty.
•Go to www.healthcare.gov and log into your account or call the Health Marketplace at (800) 318-2596.
•Select your existing application, choose “Report a life change” and click on that button. Review and update your application, save and submit, even if there are no changes.
•You must do this even if you already have updated your Marketplace account for this year.
•You should receive a notice from the Marketplace that your information is being sent to the Indiana Health Coverage Programs for consideration in HIP 2.0.
•You will not have to fill out a new application for HIP 2.0, although you might be asked by the state of Indiana for additional information.
•If you are deemed eligible for HIP 2.0, you must contact your current marketplace insurance plan to cancel your coverage when your HIP coverage begins.
•If deemed ineligible for HIP, you should receive a denial notice and your marketplace insurance will continue unimpeded.