Louisiana Healthcare Connections, a private company that provides coverage under the state’s Medicaid program, would like everyone to know that the firm is in no way related to a failed health cooperative with a similar name.
The state Department of Insurance took over the Louisiana Health Cooperative on Sept. 1, saying the company might not be able to pay its bills. Some Louisiana Healthcare Connections members and the doctors who care for them were apparently unsettled by the names’ similarity. A couple of doctors called on behalf of their patients. On Sept. 4, Lousiana Healthcare Connections posted a statement on its website.
“Due to some recent news, there might be a little confusion about Louisiana Healthcare Connections that we’d like to clear up. ...
“Just to be clear: Louisiana Health Cooperative is NOT related to Louisiana Healthcare Connections. We are not affected in any way by the recent actions of the Department of Insurance,” the statement said.
On Thursday, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon weighed in after Lousiana Healthcare Connections told him about the issue.
“I want to assure the public that Louisiana Healthcare Connections is fully operational and there are not any issues that should deter anyone — whether they are members or a health care provider — from doing business with them,” Donelon said.
Lousiana Healthcare Connections spokesman Chris Broussard said there have been only a few inquiries so far.
“It’s the kind of thing as an organization that we worry about the ones we don’t hear from more than the ones we do hear from,” Broussard said. “We really appreciate the Department of Insurance took steps to clarify this so our members and doctors aren’t having a bad time and aren’t confused about where their health benefits are coming from.”
Lousiana Healthcare Connections is part of the Bayou Health initiative, where private insurance companies provide coverage for Medicaid recipients. Lousiana Healthcare Connections is based in Baton Rouge and has offices in New Orleans, Lafayette and Covington. The company covers more than 350,000 people.
The failed health co-op is based in Metairie and covers about 17,000 people.
Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.