Governor John Bel Edwards has kicked off his statewide tour to discuss Medicaid expansion. Over the next month, Edwards and Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, Dr. Rebekah Gee, will visit cities to raise awareness and answer questions about who will be eligible to enroll for the government health insurance on June 1st. Edwards also announced that the state’s health program has a new name.
“The Bayou Health Program will now fall under a new name called Healthy Louisiana. This new program name is more in line with our efforts to produce health outcomes in the state of Louisiana,” Edwards said.
State health officials say the expanded Medicaid program will be able to cover an estimated 350,000 working poor individuals. Edwards says he wants to make sure that the people of Louisiana have all the information they need when it comes to Medicaid expansion before enrollment begins.
“Beginning in June, individuals like the ones here with us today are going to be able to start enrolling in this new program. Their coverage will be effective on July 1,” Edwards said.
Edwards and Gee emphasized the importance of the new website healthy.la.gov, which provides information about the Medicaid expansion. Gee says people should understand their healthcare options, so they can choose the plan that’s best for them.
“Just like you can go online and see the quality of your pizza, you ought to be able to go online and see the quality of your healthcare providers and really make good decisions about how you choose your providers,” Gee said.