policy and politics

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Indiana’s Medicaid program got an update on Feb. 2 when the federal government approved a new version of the Healthy Indiana Plan.

The new changes became effective Feb. 1.

Andrew Villegas/WFYI

Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are considering medical cannabis as a solution.

Citing the opioid crisis, lawmakers in several states are looking to initiate or expand their medical marijuana programs including KentuckyNew YorkNew Jersey and Indiana. And in Illinois, where opioids have claimed nearly 11,000 lives over the past decade, the legislature is considering a measure that would allow patients with an opioid prescription get access to marijuana instead.


Steve Pivnick / US Air Force

Indiana Medicaid will now cover residential treatment, detoxification and peer recovery services. The federal government approved the expanded coverage earlier this month as part of the Healthy Indiana Plan’s Medicaid waiver extension.

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Members who fail to renew coverage under Indiana’s Medicaid program will be subject to a six-month suspension period. That’s despite previous notice in 2016 from the federal government that the state can’t enforce such lockouts.

Indiana is now the second state that will make people work in order to receive Medicaid benefits.

Indiana’s Medicaid program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan, is approved by the federal government under a special waiver. That waiver allows the state to experiment with different ways to offer insurance coverage.


Elliot Englert / for Side Effects Public Media

As the Trump administration moves to give states more flexibility in running Medicaid, advocates for the poor are keeping a close eye on Indiana to see whether such conservative ideas improve or harm care.

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

The federal government has granted a one-month extension to Indiana’s Medicaid program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, which was set to expire this month.

This buys time for the state and federal government to finalize details of how the program works, according to a press release from Gov. Eric Holcomb's office. 

Jacob Sippel / US Navy

After letting funding lapse for 114 days, the United States has reached an agreement for funding CHIP, the federally-run health insurance program for children and pregnant mothers.

Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons

A government shutdown would have far-reaching effects for public health, including the nation’s response to the current, difficult flu season. It could also disrupt some federally supported health services, experts said Friday.

Updated at 12:39 p.m. ET

Health care workers who want to refuse to treat patients because of religious or moral beliefs will have a new defender in the Trump administration.

The top civil rights official at the Department of Health and Human Services is creating the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people because of moral or religious objections.

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