A few weeks ago in that space I posted a piece about how Indiana was testing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for the poor. The test, which is part of a program approved by the Bush administration, allows eligible residents to pay up to 5 percent of their incomes into state-subsidized “Personal Wellness and Responsibility Accounts” that cover their initial medical expenses up to $1,100. Once that deductible is reached, private insurance purchased by the state kicks in.
I recently saw an update on the program reporting that 4,500 people applied for the benefit in the first week it was available and the state expects 50,000 to enroll during the first year. According to Gov. Mitch Daniels, the vast majority of those who applied were granted benefits. The report also said that many of the applications are coming from people who work but do not make enough to buy their own insurance. Indiana’s plan is available for individuals who have been uninsured for the past six months and have no access to insurance through any other avenue.
Watch here for more updates on this interesting test.