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Needed step for Medicaid expansion: Hiring enrollment staff

10 months 1 week 3 days ago January 22, 2016 Jan 22, 2016 Friday, January 22 2016 January 22, 2016 2:28 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Melinda Deslatte

BATON ROUGE - Before anyone can get insurance coverage through Louisiana's planned Medicaid expansion, the state needs to hire the workers who will sign patients up for that coverage.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is working to have health care providers pick up that short-term $2.8 million cost for salaries, training and equipment - rather than the cash-strapped state health department.

As he announced his Medicaid expansion roll-out, Edwards praised health secretary Rebekah Gee, saying she had secured pledges from providers to cover that cost for the current budget year.

The unusual staffing proposal first requires federal approval before any of the estimated 248 workers needed to staff the Medicaid expansion work can be hired.

Gee was in Washington this week meeting with federal health officials to discuss Louisiana's Medicaid expansion plans.

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