Medicaid Expansion Set For July 1st

Medicaid Expansion Set For July 1st

As you may know, Medicaid is expanding in Louisiana on July 1, 2016, impacting an estimated 400,000 people. Knowing how this will affect you and your family could be extremely important. There is currently no system in place to automatically cancel or adjust coverage to those who are eligible, which means the burden rests on your shoulders. To know if you are one of those eligible for Medicaid, and what you can do to ensure you and your health care are up to date and prepared for July first, continue reading.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is trying to enroll as many people as quickly as they can in Medicaid coverage, as many of them have no health insurance at all. They are looking at household income information in three different state databases and sending Medicaid letters to people who fit a certain profile. This could apply to you if you are:

  1. Getting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and your income is below 138% of FPL, you will probably be enrolled into Medicaid and receive a letter indicating that is the case.
  2. Enrolled in the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection program, a no-cost health insurance program for residents of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, and your income is below 138% of FPL, you will also likely get a letter telling you to expect Medicaid eligibility on July 1.
  3. Enrolled in the Take Charge Plus program, which provides free family planning coverage to eligible residents of Louisiana, and your income is below 138% of FPL, you will be auto-enrolled into the Medicaid program in the next few weeks.

Individuals who earn between 100% and 138% of the Federal Poverty Level could be eligible for Medicaid. Refer to the chart below to see where your household stands.

medicaid table poverty line

 

What if I already have Blue Cross?

According to federal rules, once you know you are Medicaid-eligible, you’re no longer eligible for assistance from www.healthcare.gov to help you buy Blue Cross insurance. If you become eligible for Medicaid and you get help from www.healthcare.gov to pay your Blue Cross insurance premiums, the federal government could make you pay back any subsidies they receive after July 1. Continuing to take the money after your Medicaid start date could result in serious tax penalties.

Blue Cross cannot automatically cancel your plan if you are eligible for Medicaid. You will need to take steps to end your Blue Cross coverage after you enroll in Medicaid. Contact www.healthcare.gov to do so.

If you are a Blue Cross customer receiving insurance through an employer and are also Medicaid eligible, be sure to contact your employer’s Human Resources department to make sure you know your rights under both your employer’s plan and Medicaid.

Health reform is complicated and time-consuming and our benefit specialists are here to ease the transition. If you have a small business in the New Orleans or Metairie area, the experts at AWS Insurance will work with you and review your small business’ currently existing employee compensation benefits package in relation to your competitors and cost, or create a comprehensive cost-efficient benefit plan that meets your needs.

Contact us today to begin creating your personalized benefits package for your small business.

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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.