Dear Editor:

Having access to affordable, quality healthcare can be life changing. As a health plan serving Hoosiers for more than 20 years, Managed Health Services (MHS) has witnessed the success demonstrated through the new Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0).

Over the past year, HIP has made a dramatic difference in the lives of Hoosiers by empowering members to focus on preventive care and personal responsibility. By fostering this common sense approach, HIP supports members to become more engaged in their own healthcare and outcomes.

The initial step in working toward personal responsibility is making the choice to become a HIP Plus member and paying the first payment. This action provides enhanced benefits like dental and vision. MHS helps members make this decision by educating on the benefits of HIP Plus, and by making it easy to pay via the POWER Account contribution. With multiple payment options including online, over-the-phone, through the mail, and at major retailers such as Walmart and CVS, MHS makes it easy for members to take that first step. The results are clear: MHS members overwhelmingly (approximately 70%) chose to pay into their POWER account and become eligible for enhanced services as HIP Plus members.

MHS also empowers HIP members by providing a POWER Account Debit ID card. The POWER Account allows real-time payment for services rendered, which is a benefit for providers. This real-time payment along with increased reimbursement has attracted new providers. As a result, the MHS HIP provider network has grown by more than 33% since 2014, and this growth allows HIP members more access to quality care and overall improved health outcomes.

While facts and statistics are central for measuring success, it is also important to understand how HIP is impacting individual Hoosiers on a personal level.

The overall impact of HIP 2.0 can be summarized in the following story about a real MHS member:

It was after hours on a Wednesday evening when 'Joe' and his four-year-old son arrived at MHS' downtown office. I happened to be leaving the office and met Joe and his son as they were attempting to open the locked door. Upon hearing about Joe's health needs, I brought Joe and his son back to my office to talk. Joe had recently become eligible for benefits through HIP 2.0. He was 27 years old and had never seen a doctor. He was also dealing with a painful toothache that he'd had for several weeks and was desperate for relief. Joe wanted to pay his POWER Account contribution, which would allow him to have HIP Plus benefits, including dental coverage. Joe did not have a credit card or a checking account, so he bundled up his son and made the trip to the MHS office to make his monthly payment in cash.

After making his payment, Joe was able to see a dentist and take care of his toothache. He now has access to preventive care, hospital services and mental and behavioral healthcare. Joe can visit an eye doctor, fill needed prescriptions and even earn rewards for taking care of his health – all with no copays and only a low, predictable monthly payment. Thanks to HIP 2.0, affordable, quality healthcare is now a reality for Joe.

We are happy to be available for members like Joe to make payments and receive help with any questions. He is just one of the many HIP 2.0 success stories we see each day. We look forward to continuing to serve Joe – and thousands of other Hoosiers like him – and assist him in his new journey of having access to care.

Kevin O'Toole

Managed Health Services (MHS) President and CEO