Lawmakers discuss health care issues, high cost coverage

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INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 28, 2014) - Indiana lawmakers are talking about health care today, as the state continues to wait on approval from the federal government for its proposed Healthy Indiana Plan expansion.

In the meantime, there is still more debate about the best way to keep you and your family covered, with two interim study committees discussing the issue of health care on Thursday at the Statehouse.

The interim study committee on public health discussed a proposal from state Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, that would implement a high-cost management program for people who incur more than $1.5 million in claims.

“Medical bills can be staggering especially for families dealing with complex medical issues,” said Caitlin Priest with Covering Kids & Families of Indiana.

“We have some that are just unfortunate illnesses, some of those are the childhood cancers that are very costly,” said Brown, who admits the same kind of coverage could eventually come from the new federal health care laws, though he says it's too soon to tell when that would actually be implemented.

And in the meantime, lawmakers are still waiting to hear what will happen with the governor's proposal to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan.

The interim study committee on Fiscal Policy also discussed health care issues at a hearing Thursday afternoon.

“With all the changes happening at the state level and at the federal level, we are seeing a lot of confusion arising among families (and) among providers on what’s coming down the pike,” said Priest.

“My druthers would have been to just go ahead and expand Medicaid,” said state Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary. “Because in that process, in the interim, many people are suffering. They do not have health care coverage and will be delayed even more.”

“A lot of families are confused about whether they’re eligible for Medicaid,” said Priest, whose organization supports the governor’s expansion plan.

To deal with the confusion, Covering Kids and Families has posted resources on its web site to help families looking for more information about the changes in health care coverage.