Letters are set to go out on Thursday to 37,000 Medicaid recipients informing them they could lose their benefits, because of a lack of state funding. About 20,000 of those live in nursing homes. Louisiana Department of Health Deputy Secretary Michelle Alletto says anyone who receives the letter needs to apply for other programs.
“We would like you to do two things, one be ready to provide more information, were going to go through the process of redetermination, two if you can become eligible by applying for social security, please do so," said Alletto.
But Baton Rouge Senator Regina Barrow says the letters are likely to create a panic.
“When people get the letters, they’re going to be frantic because they’re only going to see one word that I could possibly lose my service, and I’m not going to be able to live here.”
Barrow says the plan to get nursing home residents qualified into other programs is flawed, because there just aren’t many other programs left that support them.
“There doesn’t seem like there’s going to be many options left for what people are going to qualify for, and people may end up homeless,” said Barrow.
Senate Finance is expected to vote on a budget later this week, but it’s likely the funding issue will need to be resolved in a special session that would take place in the coming weeks.
A House approved budget does not fund four Medicaid programs for the disabled and elderly.