Healthy Louisiana, also known as Medicaid through the Louisiana Department of Health, recently announced an update to its Medicaid income verification system. The Medicaid office will now utilize income data from the Louisiana Workforce Commission to evaluate Medicaid eligibility on a quarterly basis. Prior to this, Louisiana Medicaid evaluated income on an annual basis. The Louisiana Department of Health recently sent letters of ineligibility to Louisiana Medicaid recipients whose income exceeded the monthly Medicaid income limits. An estimated 37,000 individuals will lose Medicaid coverage effective March 31, 2019, due to exceeding these income limits. Louisiana Medicaid will continue verifying income every three months to determine eligibility for the program and will send letters on a rolling basis to those who become ineligible. Individuals who feel the determination is incorrect have 10 days from the date of the letter to appeal the decision.
The Louisiana Department of Health is urging all Medicaid recipients to update income information and household size as soon as it changes by calling 1-800-342-6207.
If an individual loses Medicaid coverage due to an increase in household income, that individual and members of their household are most likely eligible for a Special Enrollment Period that will allow them to enroll in Federal Health Insurance Marketplace coverage and may provide them with financial assistance to pay for private health insurance bought through the Marketplace. Those affected must apply for Marketplace coverage within 60 days from the date they lose Medicaid coverage – May 30, 2019, for those losing coverage on March 31, 2019. After 60 days, individuals will not be able to enroll in Marketplace health coverage until Open Enrollment begins in November 2019, unless they meet other special enrollment requirements for Marketplace coverage.
Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana are federally certified and required by law to provide free assistance in understanding the Marketplace and enrolling in coverage. Certified Marketplace Navigators can assist in-person, over the phone, or remotely via computer. For those affected Medicaid recipients with questions or for individuals who want to schedule an appointment with a Certified Federal Marketplace Navigator, please contact 1-800-435-2432 or visit the Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana website at www.LAHealthcareNAV.com.