Louisiana House seeking to cover more children in Medicaid

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House lawmakers unanimously agreed Monday to expand Louisiana’s Medicaid program to include more children with developmental disabilities whose parents make too much money to qualify under current eligibility rules.

Rep. Dodie Horton, a Republican from Haughton, is proposing to require Louisiana’s health department to seek federal approval for the expansion, which would give additional children access to home- and community-based services. She said the measure would “help working families keep their children at home.”

“This is a necessary and sad bill to have to pass,” Horton said.

The health department estimates about 1,600 more children would be eligible for Medicaid under the new program that would be enacted.

The House voted 98-0 for the proposal Monday, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

The expanded coverage would cost an estimated $14 million in state and federal financing in the upcoming budget year that begins July 1. It is expected to grow to $27 million a year later and increase annually. The House included nearly $5 million in state financing to cover the program’s cost in next year’s budget proposal.

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House Bill 199: www.legis.la.gov

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