BATON ROUGE, La – As the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) again performs eligibility checks on all Medicaid enrollees, many Louisianians who no longer qualify for Medicaid can get financial aid to buy Healthcare.gov individual plans. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is sharing information about how they can sign up.
“The biggest thing you should focus on is taking steps to stay covered,” said Blue Cross Healthcare Economist Mike Bertaut. “The last thing you want is to have a gap in your healthcare coverage and risk your chronic condition becoming worse. Keeping your care affordable means staying covered.”
“People on Medicaid should pay close attention to any outreach they get from the state health department. Respond quickly to confirm your information. If you do not qualify for Medicaid anymore, don’t panic. There are many affordable options through Healthcare.gov,” Bertaut said.
How You Can Stay Covered
“If you find out you no longer qualify for Medicaid, I recommend you work with an agent to find a Healthcare.gov plan,” Bertaut said. “There is more financial aid available on Healthcare.gov than ever before. A licensed, experienced agent can walk you through your plan choices, see how much financial aid you qualify for, and help you find coverage that’s the best fit for you.”
Healthcare.gov individual insurance plans are different from Medicaid coverage in many ways. That’s why working with an agent is a good way to pick the right plan for your family’s health needs, Bertaut said.
“It doesn’t cost anything to work with an agent, and you don’t have to buy anything,” Bertaut said. “I would strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.”
How you can connect with an agent:
• 1-844-GET-BLUE (TTY 711)
What People on Medicaid Should Know
Earlier this year, LDH began Medicaid program eligibility checks. These checks make sure enrollees meet income, residency and other rules for Medicaid healthcare coverage. Checks have not taken place since 2020. That’s because the federal government asked states to stop checking eligibility during the pandemic, while so many people had job losses and lost healthcare coverage.
Now that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency formally ends on May 11, checks are taking place again. The state will remove people who no longer qualify from Medicaid starting July 1. They will continue removing people from Medicaid as eligibility checks take place over the next year.
LDH is putting a lot of effort into reaching each Medicaid enrollee. This includes sending pink letters asking them to confirm their contact information. They are also trying to reach Medicaid enrollees with phone calls, emails, social media posts, community outreach and more.
“It’s very important that you tell your family members, friends and anyone you know who gets Medicaid to pay close attention to any messages from LDH,” Bertaut said. “Respond as soon as you can with the information you are asked about. That’s how the state is going to see if you still qualify for Medicaid. If they can’t reach you or don’t get a response, you could be removed from the program even if you still qualify.”
If you know someone on Medicaid who has not gotten any information about eligibility checks, it could mean LDH doesn’t have their current contact information, Bertaut said. They should get in touch with LDH through the department’s website, email MyMedicaid@la.gov or call Customer Service for their Medicaid health plan. This will let them update their information with the state.
Resources for More Information
Blue Cross has shared several messages from Bertaut, which explain how the Public Health Emergency ending affects Medicaid coverage:
• Straight Talk blog post
• Urgent Medicaid Information | Don’t Lose Your Healthcare Coverage video (1:25)
• Interview with WWL-TV “Great Day Louisiana” (5:26)
The Blue Cross Translation Services team and Hispanic Americans employee resource group have translated these messages to Spanish:
• Spanish video with Anselmo Rodriguez, manager, Blue Cross Supply Chain Management (2:05)
• Spanish version of Straight Talk blog post
Follow Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA to see more about how Medicaid enrollees can stay covered. You can like and share these posts on your personal social media channels to raise awareness. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos on various health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.