The Herald Bulletin

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February 14, 2013

Cost of Healthy Indiana Plan expansion unknown

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence and the state's top lawmakers have signed off on expanding Medicaid using the Indiana's medical savings accounts with one key bit of information missing: the price tag.

The Pence administration submitted a Medicaid waiver request to expand the healthy Indiana Plan this week. Pence aides and leaders of the Indiana General Assembly said Thursday that expanding the program without knowing its cost is a better option than relying on traditional Medicaid.

Medicaid costs are central to the debate over whether Indiana should enroll an additional 400,000 residents under the federal health care law. The state actuary has pegged the cost at $2 billion over the next seven years. A study from the Indiana Hospital Association estimates it would cost the state $503 million.

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