People of Faith for Access to Medicines joined multiple Indiana nonprofit organizations this week in sending a letter to Governor Eric Holcomb calling for him to reverse his plan to impose so-called “community engagement” requirements on the 400,000-plus Hoosiers who are enrolled in the Healthy Indiana Plan.
“Based on our experiences and observations in the Indiana communities we serve, we can assure you that many Hoosiers will fall through the cracks,” the letter, available here, states. “They will be kicked off the only health care program they could possibly obtain. They will suffer with pain and illness unrelieved by medicines or a physician’s care. Some will die as a result.”
Co-signers of the letter include: Indiana State Conference NAACP, Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Indiana Institute for Working Families, Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, Faith in Indiana (formerly IndyCAN), and People of Faith for Access to Medicines.
On February 1st, Indiana became the second state to receive permission from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries. Research by the Kaiser Family Foundation and other national groups shows that imposing work requirements, even with exemptions, leads to persons with disabilities, family caregiving obligations, and difficulty keeping steady employment losing access to programs.
The Healthy Indiana Plan is Indiana’s version of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. As the groups’ letter states, HIP has successfully expanded health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers. However, its controversial premium payment requirements and bureaucratic demands have led to over 70,000 Indiana residents being kicked off of coverage or never able to begin.
Governor Holcomb’s planned work requirement could have even more dire consequences, the organizations state: “The bottom line is this: if you proceed with imposing this work requirement, it will cause sick, struggling Hoosiers to lose their access to health care, often with disastrous individual results.”