Enrollment in Louisiana's expanded Medicaid program has topped 326,000, leaving the state just 50,000 shy of the goal it aims to reach by July.
The Louisiana Department of Health announced the updated enrollment figure on Thursday, as well as some key treatment numbers.
Of the newly covered population, nearly 25,000 people have already had preventive care visits with health care providers; 288 adults have been newly-diagnosed with diabetes; and 676 patients have been diagnosed with hypertension.
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“Our goal is to create affordable access to health care for all Louisiana residents,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee. “This data shows that patients are accessing health care services which is the first step to better health.”
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Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed the order expanding Medicaid through the federal Affordable Care Act shortly after taking office in January. Benefits and enrollment kicked in on July 1.
“The primary goal of expansion is to ensure better health outcomes for the working poor of Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement Thursday. “Early data show that expansion is working, and our people are getting the health care services they need."
The state budget, which the Louisiana Legislature approved after two special sessions and the regular session earlier this year, relies on $184 million that the state will bring down in expansion dollars.
Adults who make below 138 percent of the federal poverty level — about $33,500 a year for a family of four or $16,200 for a single adult — are among the newly eligible population.
Previously, childless adults were not eligible for Medicaid in Louisiana, and the income restrictions for people with children were tighter.
Under the federal health care law, the federal government will pick up 100 percent of the tab for the state’s new enrollees through the end of the year. The federal match rate will gradually scale back to 90 percent, with the state picking up the other 10 percent by 2020.