Healthy Louisiana is the name of newly expanded Medicaid in Louisiana. (Source: healthy.la.gov)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
June 1 is the day some 375,000 people in Louisiana can start enrolling in the state's newly expanded Medicaid called Healthy Louisiana.
If you are between the ages of 19 and 64 and have been denied health coverage in the past, that could now change, says Brian Burton, State Director of Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana.
"We are looking at opening this up to thousands of people," he said, "They now have access to insurance for the very first time."
Burton says Louisiana's Medicaid expansion is going to help people who have fallen in the gap before: making too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford the federal Marketplace.
"This is the opportunity that people below 138 percent of the federal poverty level can go in and choose which one of the five insurance providers works best for them and meets their needs," said Burton.
That income guideline means about $33,500 for a family of four.
There are four ways to apply: in person, on the phone, by mail, and online.
"You can go to healthy.la.gov and click on the 'Apply for Medicaid' button," said Burton, "and you'll be able to go right into the process where you can apply online, apply by mail, apply in person or apply by phone."
DHH-approved Medicaid Application Centers have been organized across Southwest Louisiana. SWLA Center for Health Services is one of the biggest, ready to help walk people through the process, but Burton says you will need to bring certain documents.
"The best thing to do is to bring your last year's taxes, because it has all of that information on it. Social security number for everyone that's in your home, proof of identification, proof of income," he said.
Letters have been mailed out this week to people already enrolled in the Take Charge, Take Charge Plus, and SNAP benefits programs. It is important that you follow the instructions in that letter to keep from delaying any Medicaid coverage.
"All they have to do is to be able to call the telephone number on that letter, sign the letter, and return it to DHH to be enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program," said Burton.
Coverage is set to take effect July 1 for those enrolling during the month of June.
Medicaid enrollment is constant, there is no set sign up window. The earlier you sign up, the quicker your coverage can start.
Click here to apply online or call 1-888-342-6207 to apply by phone.
Here's a rundown of where you can sign up in person across Southwest Louisiana:
Allen Parish Hospital 108 6th Avenue, Kinder 337-738-3266 By appointment or walk-in (prefers appointments) Wednesday-Friday 8:00-4:00
Moss Memorial Health Clinic 1000 Walters Street, Lake Charles 337-480-8100 By appointment or walk-in (prefers appointments) Monday-Friday