Current Issues in Health

Bayou Health

Bayou Health is the health care services delivery system used by most recipients of Medicaid and the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP).  Participants have the option of choosing one of five plans that best suits their health care needs.  
To address concerns that people with disabilities and special health care needs have access to highly specialized medical professionals, Home and Community Based Waiver recipients will not participate in Bayou Health and will remain in regular Medicaid.  Children under the age of 21 on the waiver waiting list are also excluded from Bayou Health and remain in regular Medicaid.  

Participation in Bayou Health is voluntary for children receiving services through Children's Special Health Services Clinics and children with Medicaid who are under age 19 and receive SSI or Family Opportunity Act because of a disability.  If these children choose to stay in regular Medicaid, they must opt out of Bayou Health.   

For more information, visit the Bayou Health website. 
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as the Affordable Care Act, is a federal law passed in 2010 to make health care more affordable and provide health care to uninsured people. The law includes a number of mechanisms to assist individuals and businesses with health care coverage, including but not limited to, Health Insurance Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion. 

Health Insurance Exchange

The Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of a Health Insurance Exchange
where individuals and businesses can compare and enroll in health insurance plans. 
Open enrollment began October 1, 2013. Individuals can research health plans and apply for coverage at  This is a single application process and decisions will be made available immediately in most cases.  
  • If your income is more than 100% of the federal poverty level -- about $11,500 a year as a single person or about $23,500 for a family of 4 -- you will be able to buy a private health insurance plan in the Marketplace and may be eligible for an insurance subsidy based on your household size and income.
  • If you make less than about $11,500 a year as a single person or about $23,500 for a family of 4, you may not qualify for lower costs for private insurance based on your income. 
Assistance is available through Navigators, Certified Application Counselors and a National Call Center.  The National Call Center is available 24/7 and will answer questions, including reviewing your options, and can help you fill out an online or paper application.  
TTY: 1-855-889-4325
Navigator programs in Louisiana 
Southern United Neighborhoods (Statewide)
Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (Statewide)
1-800-435-2432 (toll free) or (337)478-4822 
Martin Luther King Health Center, Inc. (Caddo, Bossier, and Webster parishes)
(318) 227-2912
Capital Area Agency on Aging, District II, Inc. (Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes)

Medicaid Expansion

The Affordable Care Act fills in current gaps in coverage for the poorest individuals by expanding the minimum Medicaid income eligibility level. Beginning January 2014, individuals under 65 years of age with income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for Medicaid in states that choose to participate. 
Currently, Governor Jindal has chosen to not participate in Medicaid Expansion. Six bills were filed during the 2013 Legislative Session to expand Medicaid but these failed to pass.  
Visit the links below for more information on the Affordable Care Act.
Health Care (Health Insurance Exchanges, Medicaid Expansion, etc.)
Affordable Care Act (Full Text) 
Understanding the Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana - DHH White Paper 
Premium Tax Credits FAQs
EXPLAINING HEALTH CARE REFORM: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies
Will I qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums?
Subsidy calculator


LaDDC News: LaHIPP to be Eliminated July 1st June 23, 2015
LaDDC News: Provider Questionnaire Helps Individuals and Families Make Informed Choices June 2, 2015
LaDDC News: Family Opportunity Act Can Provide Access to Medicaid for Many Children with Disabilities December 9, 2014
LaDDC News: More Details Released on the New System of Supports Planned for People with DD October 8, 2014
Health Care Law Presents Complex Choices For People With Disabilities August 19, 2013
LaDDC News: Louisiana Medicaid Program Changes Will Cause Loss of Services for Many Participants July 29, 2013

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