Today, Senator Karen Tallian, joined by Senator Jean Breaux and Senator Mark Stoops along with members of the House Democrats outlined a plan for a state health exchange and expansion of health care coverage to as many as 400,000 more Hoosiers. The proposal emphasized the need for Hoosiers to guide key decisions about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the economic impact of ensuring Hoosier families have access to health care.
Senate Bill (SB) 540 makes provisions for a state-based health care exchange with which individuals or small employers can find, compare and enroll in health insurance coverage. The exchange would feature an online comparison chart and includes educational outreach to potential enrollees. Sen. Tallian emphasized the need to take advantage of federal funds given to the state and the importance of keeping the state’s tax dollars paying for in-state assistance.
“It’s simple. The exchange is coming to us no matter what,” said Tallian. “My legislation ensures that the exchange is put in place by Hoosiers and that our tax dollars are used for our own exchange, not others.”
The bill would also expand health care coverage to families of four making $33,000 a year. Access to care is currently limited to families making $4,100 a year or less. By expanding coverage, as many as 400,000 Hoosiers would have access to health care coverage, increasing demand for medical services. To meet that demand, Indiana could create thousands of jobs. Nonpartisan studies in Missouri and Arizona show those states set to add 24,000 and 20,000 jobs respectively with their expansions of coverage.
State Senator Jean Breaux joined Sen. Tallian as second author of SB 540, calling for the legislature to expand access.
“Expanding health care will drive down health care costs for all Hoosiers,” said Sen. Breaux. “With so much at stake, this is a discussion the Indiana General Assembly must have.”
Additionally, SB 540 creates a study committee under the Department of Insurance, to evaluate the best option for benefits required to be offered by the insurance companies participating in the healthcare exchange.
SEN. BREAUX: “With the Affordable Care Act, Indiana has a great opportunity to increase access…”