New federal insurance numbers show the rate of uninsured Hoosiers remains unchanged.
Before the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented and Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program, the Healthy Indiana Plan, the U.S. Census Bureau data showed 14 percent of Hoosiers without health insurance.
Director of public policy for Covering Kids and Families Mark Fairchild says the program helped decrease that number.
"Even by expanding late, Indiana was able to reduce its rate substantially compared to those that did not make that decision at all," says Fairchild.
The most recent national data show the state holding at 8 percent without medical insurance.
But Fairchild says thousands were dropped from HIP 2.0 this year, after enrollment changes – these are not recorded in the most recent Census report. The upcoming work requirement changes may also increase the number of uninsured.
"We know consumer confusion is the easiest way to make people back away from a program, when they don’t know what they’re getting into and what some of the rules might be," says Fairchild.
Fairchild says still, HIP 2.0 benefits from positive feedback.
"One of the positives with the Healthy Indiana Plan is that people really do view it as a public good, they don’t put it in the same bucket with terms we don’t like – like welfare," says Fairchild.
Indiana still lags behind neighboring states with Medicaid expansion.