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An opioid epidemic. High smoking rates. Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges. Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

Indiana Halts HIP Work Requirements

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An estimated 70,000 on HIP, Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program, would have had to comply with work requirements if they don’t meet certain exemptions. (FILE PHOTO: Sarah Fentem/Side Effects Public Media)";s:

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, FSSA, has temporarily suspended work requirements for people on the Healthy Indiana Plan, HIP. The move is in response to a federal lawsuit filed last month.

The lawsuit challenging HIP, Indiana’s Medicaid expansion plan, threatens more than the requirement to report work or volunteer hours. The suit also challenges lockout penalties and premium payments included in the program. 

FSSA says they are suspending the requirements and will wait and see what happens with this suit and similar challenges in other states.

The work requirement started this year. In January 2020, some Hoosiers on HIP could have had their benefits suspended if they didn’t report hours. 

FSSA says members are still encouraged to log hours and receive work training and education assistance.

In an email statement, Indiana Medicaid Director Allison Taylor said they are committed to the program.

"HIP members are reporting successful engagements in their workplaces, schools and communities,” Taylor said.

An estimated 70,000 Hoosiers were expected to comply with the requirements, more than 400,000 people have health coverage through HIP. 

This story was produced by Indiana Public Broadcasting, a statewide collaborative covering Indiana news. Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.