Today, more than half a million Hoosiers are without the peace of mind of health insurance. They are unprotected against the risk of a big medical bill.
"And that is not right," states Governor Mitch Daniels in a message on health insurance coverage.
It is not a question of if health insurance will be needed, but when and how much it will cost. For far too many working Hoosiers, health insurance is simply unaffordable. As health care costs rise, more employers are not offering health care coverage and private insurance is often too expensive.
Lack of health insurance causes many Hoosiers to put off important doctor visits until it is too late. Gov. Daniels along with Indiana legislature has created HIP -- Healthy Indiana Plan.
HIP is new, affordable health insurance program for uninsured adult Hoosiers. The program is sponsored by the state and only requires minimal monthly contributions from the participant.
It is for adults between the ages of 19 to 64. Parents or caretaker relatives of children in the Hoosier Healthwise program are also likely candidates for the HIP program.
To be eligible, individuals must earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. There must not be access to employer sponsored health insurance coverage. Individuals must be uninsured for at least six months.
"People are still encouraged to sign up before being without coverage for six months," says Jennifer Bedwell, clinic/marketing director for Putnam County Hospital.
HIP does not provide dental or vision coverage.
Participants will be required to pay between 2 and 5 percent of their gross family income to have the security of health insurance. The exact cost will depend on income and family size.
Putnam County residents will be given an opportunity to sign up for the HIP program May 1 in the Teacher's Credit Union parking lot. The Division of Family Resources will park its mobile application station from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Clients will have the chance to ask questions about or apply for DFR programs including HIP, TANF, food stamps, Medicaid and Hoosier Healthwise.
Interested individuals are asked to bring a copy of any papers filed for benefits. This event is in partnership with PCH.