Medicaid Expansion Kick-Off Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Medicaid Expansion Kicks Off in Louisiana as Enrollment Begins Today

New Orleans, LA (June 1, 2016)—

Governor John Bell Edwards, Secretary Rebekah Gee and Ruth Kennedy will host a press conference today, June 1st, at University Medical Center to kick off Medicaid expansion in Louisiana. The expanded Medicaid program is called Healthy Louisiana and an estimated 300,000 people will be eligible for coverage. “This will have an enormous impact on our community by increasing access to comprehensive health insurance coverage allowing families to get the care they need,” said Susan Todd, Executive Director of 504HealthNet. “We want to encourage everyone in our community to get covered.”

Eligibility is based on household size and income with citizenship or resident requirements. A household income level below 138% of the federal poverty line will qualify for coverage under expansion. This translates to $16,395 annually for one person or $33,534 annually for a household of four. More in depth eligibility information and how to apply can be found online at healthy.la.gov. Applications can be submitted June 1st with Medicaid benefits beginning on July 1st. Individuals can apply online at healthy.la.gov, by phone at 1-888-342-6207 or in person at various clinics throughout the city. Calling 504-658-2053 will help locate the closest location for in-person assistance in the New Oceans area.

DHH is striving to make the enrollment process run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Take Charge Plus and the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection (GNOCHC) beneficiaries will automatically be enrolled in Healthy Louisiana providing they had up to date mailing addresses. Letters were mailed to beneficiaries in May, informing them of their increase in benefits. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries will not have to fill out an application, but rather respond to letters mailed by DHH to be enrolled in Medicaid by calling 1-888-342-6207. In addition to bringing much needed coverage to many people across Louisiana, Medicaid expansion is also estimated to result in 15,600 new jobs and $1.8 billion in economic activity.

504HealthNet is a non-profit organization comprised of 23 community health service providers representing the primary care safety net for Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. Together, this network of community health centers is working collaboratively to better meet the primary care and behavioral health needs of low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents in the Greater New Orleans area.

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