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Expanded Medicaid Enrollment Reaches 250,000

July, 15, 2016

The Louisiana Department of Health announces the landmark enrollment of 250,000 new adults into Healthy Louisiana, the state’s expanded Medicaid program. Enrollment began on June 1 and coverage started July 1.

“250,000 families can sleep more soundly at night knowing their loved ones have coverage,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). “I'm very proud of Governor Edwards' leadership and the work done by the team at LDH. This is a huge opportunity for our state to get healthier, and coverage is an important first step."

Healthy Louisiana will bring health insurance coverage to an estimated 375,000 working Louisianans. In the first month and a half of enrollment, an average of 2,500 residents per day have signed up for Medicaid coverage.

One contributor to the state’s success has been the Department’s use of creative enrollment strategies. Enrollees of two limited-coverage programs, Take Charge Plus and the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection, automatically gained full Medicaid coverage under Healthy Louisiana. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted Louisiana special permission to enroll residents using data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps. This innovative approach saves the State an estimated $1.5 million and 52,000 man hours.

“Reaching the quarter million enrollee milestone so quickly is the result of the tremendous effort of thousands of state workers, advocates, providers and the five Healthy Louisiana plans,” LDH Medicaid Expansion Project Director Ruth Kennedy said. “While these numbers reflect a remarkable achievement that we are very proud of, our work is far from finished. Over 100,000 newly eligible adults still need to be identified, informed and enrolled to reach our goal of 375,000 enrollees this year.”

Expanded Medicaid coverage is available for adults ages 19 to 64 with a household income of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $33,534 for a family of four. Applicants must meet citizenship requirements and cannot already be covered by Medicaid or Medicare.  Residents who think they may be eligible can apply in person, by phone or online at healthy.la.gov. Enrollment is ongoing.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.

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