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State to outline plans for notifying loss of health care coverage

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BATON ROUGE – Louisiana is beginning to implement notices this week to people who are at immediate risk of losing the coverage that pays for their care in a nursing home, group home or home-based services.

Tomorrow, Jay Dardenne, commissioner of the Division of Administration, and Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), will hold a press conference to discuss the state’s plans.

This is a result of the budget passed by the Louisiana House of Representatives that fails to replace $1.4 billion in revenue that is expiring at the end of the current fiscal year in June 30, 2018. Despite efforts to replace a portion of the revenue, the legislature did not pass any legislation to address the fiscal cliff in a special session earlier this year.

“Because of deep cuts included in the House budget, LDH is required by law to begin to promulgate an emergency rule outlining which services would be eliminated,” said a press release. “This is an unprecedented step for LDH to take, but it is the state’s goal to give notice to everyone who could be affected as soon as possible so that they can begin developing appropriate plans. The notices are also meant to provide as much transparency as possible into the process and the steps the department is taking.”

Gov. Edwards has proposed replacing a portion of the expiring revenue. Doing so would result in a net tax reduction of $400 million and reduction in spending of more than $120 million. However, a budget that replaced a portion of the expiring revenue would still adequately fund critical priorities in the state, such as these health care services.

To address the public’s questions, the Department of Health will provide information on its website, www.ldh.la.gov, and Medicaid will staff its call center 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 888-342-6207.