What Are the Best Health Insurance Options in Indiana?
Health insurance is a special financial instrument which covers the risk of an individual incurring medical expenses, either in full or in a partial manner; with the benefits administered by a central organization such as government insurance organizations and private for-profit insurance organizations. In the United States, the prevalent form of health insurance coverage is from the private insurance sector.
Types of Health Insurance Options in Indiana
For those living in Indiana, there are a plethora of insurance options; catering to both individuals as well as families; as well as organizations looking to provide group insurance benefits for their employees. The state has over the years committed to building a robust insurance infrastructure, encompassing both federal-sponsored schemes as well as insurance policies offered by private organizations.
- The Affordable Care Act: The health insurance exchange in Indiana is run by the federal government, providing residents with the ability to buy from a centralized federal insurance marketplace as well as receiving the option for financial assistance based on their income. Furthermore, tax credits are provided by the state to decrease the insurance premiums being paid by beneficiaries. Also, cost-sharing subsidies allow residents to save on direct payments of coinsurance and copayments.
- Medicaid: In February 2015, the ACA or Affordable Care Act extended the eligibility of Medicaid for adults in the low-income bracket, with up to 138 percent of those below the federal poverty level becoming beneficiaries. The benefits for those availing Medicaid include those requiring community-based services, are incarcerated in federal prison, and members are residing in nursing homes and intermediate facilities for the intellectually disabled. The Medicaid facilities include benefits such as wellness visits to authorized physicians, laboratory and X-ray testing, substance abuse services, dental and vision care, speech and learning therapy, family planning counseling and chiropractic services.
Under Medicaid, Indiana state provides the Healthy Indiana Plan which is applicable for qualified adults within the ages of 19 to 64; providing access to healthcare for individuals and families in the following categories:
- Individuals with an annual income of up to $16,954
- Couples with a combined annual income of up to $22,987
- Families comprising of four or fewer members with a combined annual income of up to 35,053
Indiana provides two distinct levels of insurance policies; HIP Basic and HIP Plus. HIP Plus includes dental and vision care, and no co-pays unless the beneficiary uses the emergency for non-emergency care. Those above the federal poverty level are eligible only for HIP Plus but have to pay for premiums. Individuals below the poverty level do not have to pay for HIP Basic but have the option to upgrade to HIP Plus with the additional premium payment.
- CHIP: Indiana state offers Child Health Insurance Program, providing children in low-income households to gain access to health insurance facilities. The facility also extends to include pregnant women from low-income households; as well as providing pediatric care for infants.
- Hoosier Care Connect for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled: For those of ages 65 and above, with blindness, or having a physical disability; not living in a community is eligible for the plan. The plan encompasses most of the benefits provided by Medicaid; as well as programs such as disease management, post-hospitalization support, and access to a 24-hour nurse helpline.
- Private Insurance: For individuals and families that do not qualify for state-sponsored financial assistance, they have the option to purchase medical insurance through private marketplaces, with varying insurance plans and options.
- SHOP: The state of Indiana provides employers with less than fifty full-time employees to provide healthcare coverage to employees through the Small Business Health Options Program, a federal facilitated insurance program.
In 2015, about 17 percent of the population of Indiana had access to Medicare and state-assisted health insurance; a figure which is comparable with other states across the country. However, as of 2017, the number of people enrolled under the Affordable Care Act has been below expectations, primarily due to the complexity of design, misinformation about premiums and the inability of certain sections of the populace to enroll under these schemes due to lack of finances. However, the state has been working to build up its healthcare and insurance infrastructure to provide facilities to one and all.