Bill dealing with new health care rules moved to Senate
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org February 22, 2013 11:47AM
Updated: March 23, 2013 6:29AM
INDIANAPOLIS — As the Affordable Care Act is initiated throughout the country, Indiana House Representatives passed a bill Thursday to allow the state to regulate health insurance providers who operate through the new health care exchanges.
Indiana opted to not set up its own health care exchange, so Hoosiers will use a federal exchange to purchase health care in 2014.
The bill also will define those who can operate as a health care navigator, a position set up by the ACA that will help people determine whether they need to sign up for Medicaid or for their own health insurance.
State Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, who authored the bill, explained that exceptions to the navigator definition will be altered when the bill heads to the Senate. He explained the bill does not expand Medicaid as suggested under ACA, it only ensures the state can oversee any new insurance companies operating through the federal exchange.
“If you’re going to operate in the state, you would be under the state of Indiana’s regulatory authority,” Lehman said. “You’ll be required to file the same forms and contracts. If you do that, we’ll treat you just like all our other companies.”
State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, is a coauthor of the bill. He noted it’s the only evidence the House of Representatives acknowledged the health care reform.
“At least this is a first step and we’ll have something to work with when this issue comes up in the future,” Brown said.
The bill moves to the Senate, sponsored by Republican State Sen. Pat Miller of Indianapolis.