Is it Time to Fix Medicaid with Consumer-Driven Health Plans?

This week The Wall Street Journal has a piece by Mike Pence, the Governor of Indiana, on the success of Indiana’s “Healthy Indiana Plan.” HIP is a consumer-driven health plan designed to help the working poor of Indiana.

Today, about 40,000 Indiana people have health savings accounts (HSAs) thanks to HIP.  HIP consumers are empowered in their health care decisions, with 7% less using the emergency room than traditional Medicaid patients.  Also, an encouraging 60% rate of HIP enrollees are choosing to use preventative care services including annual checkups and flu shots.  They also choose generic drug prescriptions at a higher rate than enrollees in private health insurance.

Another positive statistic is that 93% of HIP members make their HSA payments on time.

Governor Pence plans to go another step forward.  He plans to submit a waiver to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to eliminate traditional Medicaid for able-bodied people in the age range 19 to 64 with an expanded HIP program.  This new program would cover those up to 138% of the Federal poverty level and would include a work referral component for members, so that they can be aware of job opportunities and hopefully, so that they can work their way out of the program.

Isn’t it time to stop empowering the government to run people’s lives and instead start empowering citizens instead?  It’s time to fix Medicaid and consider innovative programs that are consumer-driven and that help people become self-sufficient, if possible.

Bookmark and Share
This entry was posted in America's Future, Health Care System. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.