Goal of National Health Centers Week is to get all of SWLA insur - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Goal of National Health Centers Week is to get all of SWLA insured

Celebrating 35 years (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) Celebrating 35 years (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

It's National Health Centers Week.

One local center is taking this week as an opportunity to celebrate and educate and inform the public of options available when it comes to their health care.

The Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services is celebrating 35 years - an accomplishment officials said is special since the facility recently received a perfect score from the Department of Hospitals, HRSA. Administrators say this has been made possible by the staff and providers that continue to work hard to make sure all Bayou State residents are taken care of and have access to healthcare.

"The goal is to provide quality affordable healthcare for individuals who do not have healthcare or who cannot afford," Ross said.

Since the roll out of the Bayou State's Medicaid expansion in June over 250,000 Louisiana residents have signed up for coverage. Governor John Bel Edwards enacted the expansion in January and coverage took effect July 1.

"The Affordable Care Act has helped us tremendously as we'll be able to help people afford insurance," Ross added.

But in Southwest Louisiana, there are still over 40,000 residents who are uninsured. Almost 20,000 of them qualify for the coverage. 

SWLA Parishes Uninsured Adults Eligible for Medicaid under Expansion
Allen 3,600 1,521
Beauregard 5,826 2,323
Calcasieu 27,751 11,983
Cameron 1,161 426
Jeff Davis 4,915 2,140
Total 43,253 18,393

 "We still have those people who are working minimum wage jobs and they qualify but they don't have health insurance," Ross stated.

 It's an effort that Ross said is going to take the center's entire team to accomplish.

 "It's more than just a building, it's a building with people who dedicate their lives to the service of other people and that's what really makes the mission so special because we want to provide a service but we also provide dignity and respect when we are giving the services that we give on a daily basis," she said.

 Enrollment is ongoing and is available for adults ages 19 to 64 with a household income of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level which is about the annual income of $33,534 for a family of four and $16,395 for one individual.

You can find a breakdown for your family size and enrollment information by visiting www.healthy.la.gov.

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