$368M budget boost sought for Louisiana Medicaid expansion
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers are being asked to add $368 million in federal funding to the health department budget to keep from running out of money for the state's Medicaid expansion.
The Louisiana Department of Health has enrolled more people than expected in Medicaid expansion since Gov. John Bel Edwards began the program. Those signing up for the free insurance coverage are older and costlier patients than projected.
More than 428,000 people have enrolled in the government-financed coverage.
The Medicaid expansion program is scheduled to run out of federal financing Tuesday. The Legislature's joint budget committee is meeting Monday to consider accepting the federal dollars and filling the gap.
The health department says it would have to temporarily shuffle dollars from other programs to pay providers, without federal financing approval from lawmakers.