Louisiana Medicaid expansion supporters celebrate signup of 225,900
- Louisiana's recently expanded Medicaid program reached an impressive 225,900 enrollees as of last Friday, after beginning the process June 1.
- Upwards of 580,000 people in the state are estimated to be eligible and Louisiana is among the states with the highest uninsured rates, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
- The state is drawing attention for its innovative yet low-budget enrollment strategies, which include becoming the first state to tie the program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to determine eligibility.
Louisiana's pioneering move appears to be paying off. It began by sending forms to more than 105,000 SNAP beneficiaries, asking them to confirm four easy questions by phone, fax, mail or email, in order to be enrolled in Medicaid.
The state also automatically enrolled people -- with no action required -- who are receiving benefits under the state’s Take Charge Plus program, which primarily provides reproductive healthcare services, and the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection, a group of health clinics organized after Hurricane Katrina, the Advocate reported.
Those enrolled have been notified their full Medicaid coverage will be effective July 1.
“When you think about how we were able to enroll so many people in such a short period already, it’s pretty remarkable,” state Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee told the Advocate. “Sometimes having a low-resource environment isn’t always bad.”
The effort has also involved community-based outreach and assistance from hospitals as they engage uninsured patients who come in for care.
- The New Orleans Advocate Louisiana officials praise Medicaid expansion; 225,900 have signed up as of Friday