How Medicaid Benefits Louisianans
Louisiana’s Medicaid program provides life-sustaining health coverage for Louisiana residents who couldn’t otherwise afford the cost of care, including children from low- and moderate-income families. More than five years have passed since Gov. John Bel Edwards, on his first full day as governor, signed an executive order to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults in Louisiana.
Since the expansion took effect in July 2016, more than 600,000 people have signed up for the coverage, which is mostly financed with federal dollars.
Medicaid plays a critical role in helping Louisiana families make ends meet. But we have far to go to ensure that every Louisianian has the support they need to reach their full potential. Louisiana can – and should – build a strong, more equitable economy that works for everyone. And that starts with ensuring that Louisianans have the healthcare they need.
Voices of Medicaid
To understand the impact that Medicaid has on people’s lives, we conducted in-depth interviews with 17 people enrolled in the program from across Louisiana – in rural, urban, and suburban areas – during the Covid-19 pandemic. We spoke with Louisianans aged 19 to 64 who are currently enrolled in Louisiana Medicaid, particularly focused on those who are a part of the adult expansion group.
LBP has also researched policy solutions to protect coverage gains to ensure people with low incomes don’t have to choose between paying rent and getting the medical care they need. Medicaid plays a critical role in helping Louisiana families make ends meet. But we have far to go to ensure that every Louisianian has the support they need to reach their full potential. Louisiana can – and should – build a strong, more equitable economy that works for everyone. And that starts with ensuring that Louisianans have the healthcare they need.
How the End of the Public Health Emergency Could Impact Eligibility for Louisianians
The percentage of people without health insurance – in Louisiana and the rest of the nation – fell to record lows in 2021. A major reason for the recent gain is a pandemic relief law that gave states extra federal money for Medicaid, that came with a provision that they could not terminate anyone’s coverage as long as the federal public health emergency remains in effect. But the budget package Congress passed in late December includes a provision that requires states to start reviewing Medicaid eligibility on April 1. LBP has resources to ensure how Louisiana can ensure everyone who’s eligible stays enrolled during this process.
The process of reviewing eligibility for the entire Medicaid population will be a massive undertaking for state agencies, patient navigators, insurers, and advocates working to keep people covered. The guidance from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) encourages states to promote continuity of coverage, and the agency has pledged to work with states to make sure they have procedures in place to guard against wrongful terminations.