[Welcome Kaiser Network readers!]
No, not hip.
HIP, as in Healthy Indiana Plan.
The "low cost" health plan makes health insurance, coupled with a Health Savings Account, available to low income Indiana residents.
Low income is defined as a single earning less than $20,800 per year AND has been without health insurance for 6 months.
So what is to stop those who would otherwise qualify from dropping existing coverage?
How does the benefit work?
You have an $1,100 deductible before the plan pays anything. Everyone who participates also receives a health savings account with $1,100 in it.
So who pays for the plan?
Plan participants pay on a sliding scale, from 2% of their income up to 5%. Someone earning the maximum would pay $1,040 per year.
Who pays the rest of the cost of the coverage?
If you buy cigarettes in Indiana, regardless of where you smoke them, you pay $0.44 per pack to help fund the plan.
So what is covered?
That is a good question. The HIP website appears to be short on details.
Two things I did learn.
You get a $500 annual wellness benefit, and the plan caps out covered charges at $300,000.
We have posted on low limit plans before, here and here.
One question I have is this.
If the plan is partially funded by cigarette taxes, rather than creating a special plan just for the 130,000 uninsured, why not use the tax money to subsidize the purchase of health insurance plans that already exist in the market place? Isn't that a better use of resources?
I guess I am not HIP.