Louisiana Launches Medicaid Expansion Enrollment
June 2, 2016 12:12 PM
On June 1, 2016, Louisiana began enrollment in its Medicaid expansion program under the Affordable Care Act. Louisiana residents with a household income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level will now be eligible to enroll in health coverage through the program. Coverage will begin effective July 1, 2016. With the addition of Louisiana, 31 states and the District of Columbia now have expanded Medicaid.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell applauded the launch of Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion program through the Affordable Care Act. In a press release, HHS marked it as a “tipping point” given that now more than half of the nation’s uninsured live in states that have expanded Medicaid and could gain coverage under the program.
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Edwards alongside the hard work of federal, state, and local partners, starting tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Louisianans will be able to join the 20 million Americans who have obtained quality, affordable health coverage because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Secretary Burwell. “This is another step in our country’s march toward a health care system that works better for everyone.”
According to HHS, an estimated 375,000 new adults will enroll in coverage under Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion program. About 105,000 people are already enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and have been “identified as likely eligible for coverage.” Prior to expansion of the program, its eligibility for adults without disabilities was limited to parents at 19 percent of the federal poverty level.
A report released by the White House Council of Economic Advisers stated that Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion would have the following positive results:
The report estimates that Louisiana’s decision to expand Medicaid could result in 27,400 fewer people having trouble paying other bills due to the burden of medical costs.
The report estimates that Medicaid expansion in Louisiana would lead to 26,000 additional individuals reporting being in good (or better) health and 18,000 fewer individuals experiencing symptoms of depression.
Louisiana’s uncompensated care costs could be $200 million lower annually with expanded coverage fully in effect.
Louisiana’s decision to expand Medicaid will bring an estimated $1.07 billion into the state’s economy annually. That funding boosts the standard of living of the State’s residents both by improving the lives of the newly-insured and by reducing the burden of uncompensated care for providers, taxpayers, and the privately insured.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice, along with its affiliate the National Medicaid Action Council, is committed to the improvement and expansion of home and community-based services under the Medicaid program.