NewsLocal News / June 20, 2014

Report: Medicaid Expansion Would Insure Thousands More Indy Residents

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Sam Klemet
Report: Medicaid Expansion Would Insure Thousands More Indy Residents

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says 49,000 more Indianapolis residents can get health care by 2016 if the state expands it Medicaid program.

If those 49,000 people are insured, the foundation says that will represent a 29 percent decrease in the city’s uninsured population.

Research Analyst Matt Buettgens says ensuring low income people have insurance is cheaper than the alternative.

"When they do consume services, they would be much less likely to be able to pay the full cost of those services," he says. "So that would go towards bad debt and uncompensated care, which is paid for in part by federal, state and local tax dollars, and in part by the healthcare providers."

Buettgens says Governor Pence’s HIP 2.0 plan would achieve the expansion goals.

Pence’s plan is an alternative to the expansion of traditional Medicaid.

The foundation looked at 13 other cities similar to Indianapolis.

The drop in uninsured people is estimated to be nearly twice as great in the seven states that expanded Medicaid.