FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2019
Contact: Kate Hess Pace
FULL-COURT PRESS TO DEFEAT MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENTS:
Community Groups Lead Fight to Protect Hoosier Healthcare as Lawsuit is Filed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Indiana Legal Services and the National Health Law Program filed a lawsuit on Monday, September 23rd to block Indiana's Medicaid work requirement waiver. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four Hoosiers, including one surfaced through Hoosier Action’s extensive outreach efforts, because their healthcare has been put at risk by the burdensome and unnecessary “Gateway to Work” program.
This legal strategy is one component of a larger campaign. Hoosier Action has led the charge with a coalition of other concerned organizations to defeat the Medicaid work requirements. As a part of the campaign, Hoosier Action has collected over 4,000 petition and postcard signatures, knocked on over 1,250 doors, held hundreds of conversations, organized multiple public education events, coordinated in-district meetings with state legislators, and led an Indianapolis rally, press conference, and petition delivery on July 1st.
According to Adam Mueller of Indiana Legal Services, “Hoosier Action has been a vital outreach partner for Indiana Legal Services. They have done an extraordinary job of talking to folks in the community on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and facing other health crisis. Our legal work in this case would not have been possible without their deep and broad community connections.”
“This legal challenge is merely one tool we're using in our fight against unnecessary, costly, ineffective, profit-focused obstacles to health care access, says Hoosier Action Executive Director Kate Hess Pace, “We will continue to use every strategy available to ensure Hoosiers have the health care they need.”
Hoosier Action leader Eva Bell underscored the importance of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), a form of Medicaid, in keeping herself and her family healthy, “Without HIP I probably would not have gone to the hospital last week. It turns out that I had to have my appendix removed. Without this program, I would be unable to take care of myself for my family. Although I was ultimately granted an exemption as a mom with young children, I still worry about losing coverage because of the confusing Gateway to Work requirements.”
Background: Starting on July 1, 2019, Indiana began implementation of work requirements on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), a public healthcare program funded by both the state and federal governments and a form of Medicaid. HIP currently provides quality healthcare for 440,000 low-income Hoosiers.
As a part of this new program called “Gateway to Work,” Hoosiers enrolled in HIP who have not been granted an exemption will be required to submit monthly reports to their health insurance provider documenting their continued eligibility. The new changes institute a confusing, wasteful, time-consuming bureaucratic system which, if fully implemented, will lead to thousands of more uninsured Hoosiers.
Hoosier Action is a nonpartisan, homegrown community organization based in Southern Indiana. We believe that all Hoosiers, regardless of how much money they make, should have a say in the decisions which affect their lives.
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