Medicaid team comes to Lake Charles to assist seniors at Tower Oaks

Medicaid team comes to Lake Charles to assist seniors at Tower Oaks

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Seven Medicaid analysts and a deputy director arrived from Baton Rouge to meet with residents at tower oaks. Deputy Director for Eligibility Tara LeBlanc said they would use laptops to help remedy any problems for residents eligible for Medicaid.

“We are just trying to make sure that something didn’t happen that closed them or dis-enrolled them out of Medicaid, that they did not do any interaction to cause that,” said LeBlanc.

That after an outcry from Tower Oaks manager Shelly Young who says many have been losing Medicaid benefits without notice.

“I just want it to stop! If this continues to happen, if the computer problem isn’t fixed, it’s going to continue to happen,” she said.

“I can advocate for these folks. What about all the people in Louisiana? Because, I have calls from all over the state yesterday,” said Young.

LeBlanc says those who lost benefits did so because they evidently didn’t act on letters they received.

“So, it’s very important that the individuals read their mail and make sure that when they get a letter from Medicaid that they respond,” she said.

LeBlanc says the State is just following the rules made by the Federal Government.

“Every twelve months we have to look at every individual according to the Federal Government and review and make sure that they still qualify for Medicaid,” she said.

But Young is adamant that many residents received no letter or other notification and insists there’s a computer problem.

“I don’t think that the problem has been addressed statewide. The computer system they have that is causing this to happen. Their system is causing them to be kicked out and determined ineligible,” said Young.

Retired teacher Sheila Sarvaunt receives $700 dollars monthly from teachers’ retirement and relies on Medicaid to pay her Medicare health insurance premiums. She was stunned to get a bill for $800 in Medicare premiums.

“It really upset me because I count on that for my medical and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just got real upset,” she said.

State and federal lawmakers sent representatives to look into problems to see what more can be done...

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