INDIANAPOLIS— During a press conference Wednesday morning, State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) presented her proposal for the implementation of guidelines within the federal Affordable Care Act. Flanked by democrats from both the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives, Sen. Tallian outlined her plan for a state health exchange and expansion of health care to as many as 400,000 more of the state’s residents.
Senate Bill (540) makes provisions for a state-based healthcare exchange with which individuals or small employers can find, compare and enroll in health insurance coverage. The exchange would feature an online comparison chart and includes educational outreach to potential enrollees. Sen. Tallian emphasized the need to take advantage of federal funds given to the state and the importance of keeping the state’s tax dollars paying for in-state assistance.
“It’s simple. The exchange is coming to us no matter what,” said Tallian. “My legislation ensures that the exchange is put in place by Hoosiers and that our tax dollars are used for our own exchange, not others.”
The bill would also expand health care coverage to working families of four making $33,000 a year. The current ceiling cuts off at families making $4,100 a year. With the expansion, as many as 400,000 Hoosiers would have access to health care coverage and thousands of new jobs opportunities would emerge.
State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) joined Sen. Tallian as second author of SB 540, calling for the legislature to expand access.
“Expanding health care will drive down health care for all Hoosiers,” said Sen. Breaux. “With so much at stake, this is a discussion the Indiana General Assembly must have.”
Additionally, SB 540 creates a study committee under the Department of Insurance, to evaluate the best option for benefits required to be offered by the insurance companies participating in the healthcare exchange.
Other members joining the effort include State Senator Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington), State Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary), State Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis), and State Representative Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis).