GARY, Ind. (Howey Political Report) - Legislation that will provide low-cost health coverage for uninsured Indiana residents will benefit hospitals and poor Northwest Indiana residents, Gov. Mitch Daniels told a gathering of The Methodist Hospitals doctors and administrators April 30, according to The Post-Tribune.

Methodist would be among hospitals that will see many patients covered by the Healthy Indiana Plan created during the legislative session that ended Sunday, April 29.

Funded by a 44› per-pack cigarette tax, Health Indiana will provide medical coverage for needy families - some 132,000 adults - with incomes of up to 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Additionally, some cigarette tax revenue will go toward reimbursing doctors who care for the uninsured and immunizations for children.

"Doctors will have more reimbursements and more paying customers," under the plan, Daniels said. "We need to have a real good outreach effort to get people enrolled."

Methodist CEO Ed Charbonneau said hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured patients have struggled financially, and noted that Daniels launched his campaign to remedy the problem at Northlake Methodist Hospital in November 2006, a plan also supported by Indiana United Methodist Bishop Mike Coyner.