Enrollment at 197,000 for Louisiana's Medicaid expansion
BATON ROUGE - More than 197,000 people have been enrolled in Louisiana's Medicaid expansion program, ahead of the July 1 start of the insurance coverage.
The Department of Health announced the figures Wednesday.
Most of the enrollment is not from people actively signing up, however.
Nearly 187,000 people who already receive a limited list of health services from the state were automatically signed up for the Medicaid expansion by the health department because they were deemed eligible.
The remaining enrollees registered for the health insurance online, by phone, in person - or because they were food stamp recipients determined to also be eligible for the Medicaid coverage.
Medicaid expansion will cover adults ages 19 to 64 making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, about $33,400 for a family of four.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is pushing back against Republican claims that Louisiana isn't maximizing the savings available from the Medicaid expansion that begins next month.
Health Secretary Rebekah Gee said Wednesday next year's budget already assumes $184 million in Medicaid expansion savings - and that's all the savings available.
Gee told the House Ways and Means Committee: "We have left no stone unturned."
Republicans are resisting many of Edwards' tax proposals. The governor says without new revenue, education and health programs will face cuts.
Documents circulated by GOP lawmakers suggested Louisiana could tap into more federal financing to bail out the budget without raising taxes as the Democratic governor proposes in the special session.
The documents came from Bruce Greenstein, a former Louisiana health secretary who opposed Medicaid expansion.