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U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) FILE (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) FILE (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  

Indiana granted year-long Obamacare waiver

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Katie McHugh
Associate Editor

The federal government granted Indiana a year-long Obamacare waiver on Tuesday, allowing the state to continue to run its own Medicaid pilot program, The Washington Post reports.

Indiana, along with Iowa and Arkansas, requested major exemptions from the law, and is the first state to receive one.

“Securing a waiver to continue the Healthy Indiana Plan is a victory for Hoosiers enrolled in this innovative program and will ensure that Indiana remains at the forefront of consumer-driven healthcare in the United States,” Republican Gov. Mike Pence said in a statement.

Pence will now consider expanding Medicaid under the state’s “Healthy Indiana” plan, whose operations depend on other federal exemptions. The program requires that enrollees pay for a portion of their healthcare costs, does not cover all of the procedures that traditional Medicaid typically covers, and limits the total number of participants. Approximately 37,000 residents are enrolled in the program and 53,000 are backlogged on a waiting list, The Courier-Journal reports. A full Medicaid expansion under Obamacare would cover as many as 400,000 enrollees. But Pence says that capping costs keeps them low and encourages enrollees to make smarter choices about their healthcare.

Indiana also opted out of opening a healthcare exchange market on Oct. 1.

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