Governor Mike Pence won federal approval to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan. It means health insurance for an additional 8,000 Hoosiers next year.
The numbers are deceiving. While the Healthy Indiana Plan will grow, many current members are getting kicked off.
At a small home in Noblesville Brian Fuerst struggles to manage his medical bills. “I need health insurance,” he said.
Fuerst is a disabled airline pilot who must take expensive medication. “I have congestive heart failure. I just had to get my defibulator replaced.”
For two years he has been on the HIP program that provides health insurance to low income Hoosiers. “And it’s been great insurance,” he said.
But he recently received a letter from state government telling him that he no longer qualifies for HIP. He was directed to the Obamacare website to find a new insurance provider..
“They cut the HIP income requirements in half,” he explained, “so I make too much now.”
Brian Fuerst makes $20,000 a year. The new limit is just over $11,000 a year.
Fuerst feels caught in the middle. “Absolutely,” he said. “I’ve done my part and the state let me down.”
But the new guidelines came at the direction of the federal government after Governor Mike Pence declined to expand medicaid.
Brian Fuerst expects to have health insurance next year. “It’ll cost me about an extra $1200 a year,” he said.
He’s not alone. Almost 11,000 of the 35,000 people in the HIP program got the same letter he did.