A new report released Monday by the University of Nebraska Center for Health Policy finds that an expansion of Indiana’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would generate up to $3.4 billion in new economic activity in the state. According to the report, these funds could result in at least $108 million in state and local tax revenue each year and support more than 30,000 jobs through 2020.
The study, commissioned by Indiana Hospital Association (IHA), estimates that using federal dollars to extend coverage for uninsured residents would bring Indiana more than $10 billion in funding from the federal government through 2020. According to the report, if Indiana chooses to opt into the expansion, more than 406,000 Hoosiers would receive medical coverage at a cost of $503 million.
“Expanding coverage in Indiana would benefit all Hoosiers,” said Doug Leonard, president of IHA, in a press release. “This report demonstrates the positive impact that extending coverage would bring to our state’s economy and the overall health of Hoosiers who otherwise might not seek proper treatment.”
Coverage expansion bridges the gap for adults in poverty. If Indiana chooses not to expand coverage, thousands of Hoosiers will go uninsured, unable to enroll in Medicaid, and barred from getting tax credits to buy coverage in a health insurance exchange. The report indicates that a decrease in the number of uninsured would save insured individuals $236 and families $677 in annual health insurance premiums beginning in 2014. Indiana hospitals provided nearly $3 billion in uncompensated care
in 2011. By not expanding coverage, hospitals may be forced to cut services due to the burden of treating patients who have no coverage.
Indiana Hospital Association is a non-profit organization that serves as the professional trade association for 164 Hoosier hospitals.
These members are either independent or a member of one of the 23 systems in the state. Membership includes hospitals, multi-hospital systems and community mental health centers. The mission of the IHA is to provide leadership, representation and services in the common best interests of its members as they promote the improvement of community health status. IHA’s primary responsibility is to represent the interests of hospitals in matters of public policy. IHA also provides members with education, communications and data collection services.