Monday, April 29, 2013

Update on budget bill: Medicaid expansion and block grants

Family Voices Indiana shares the following summary of the budget bill from the Indiana Hospital Association:

2013 Session Ends with Passage of Budget Bill

The 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly ended after midnight on Friday. While most of the news coverage of the budget bill focused on the battle over Gov. Pence’s income tax cut, HB 1001 contains key health care provisions. Important budget provisions are summarized below:

HB 1001: Biennial State Budget (Rep. Tim Brown, Sen. Luke Kenley)

While the budget bill does not mandate an expansion of coverage through Medicaid or any other program, it does contain some relevant provisions. It requires a transfer in the next biennium of $250 million to the Medicaid Contingency and Reserve Account from the state’s General Fund. Funds will also continue to accrue to the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) Trust Fund. Another $225 million will be deposited in this fund from cigarette tax revenues over the next two fiscal years, adding to a balance that currently exceeds $200 million.

No language dealing with Medicaid block grant proposals was included in the final version. The Senate-passed budget contained provisions regarding block granting that had previously been part of Senate Bill 551, which died in the House Ways & Means Committee. However, a HIP expansion that could cover as many as 400,000 Hoosiers could still proceed under the authority already given to FSSA in 2011.

The General Assembly is seeking to increase its oversight of Medicaid policy. A new requirement was added to HB 1001 that would make FSSA submit all state plan amendments and Medicaid waiver requests to the State Budget Committee for review.
Nothing regarding a reduction in Medicaid coverage for pregnant women was included in the budget or any other legislation. A proposal to reduce eligibility from the current 200 percent of poverty to 133 percent was floated in the final days of the session during the conference committee on HB 1328, but it was dropped.

We will share any additional information as it becomes available. Feel free to contact us with any questions. And, thank you to those of you who shared your voice this legislative session.

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