Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage to some low-income Louisiana residents. Medicaid covers families with children and pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities, if state and federal guidelines are met. Legal residents who are not U.S. citizens may be eligible for Medicaid however, question concerning immigration status and eligibility should be directed to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
- For certain categories of people, eligibility for Medicaid is based on the amount of your household income.
In Louisiana, you may be eligible for Medicaid if you are an infant, a child, pregnant, or a parent of a dependent child, elderly, or disabled and your family income meets the Medicaid income standards.
Income eligibility levels for these categories are described below. Your assets and some expenses also may be taken into account, so you should contact the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals or your parish office for more information.
Low income persons eligible for Medicaid in Louisiana*
Category — Income eligibility (as percent of federal poverty level)
Infant to age 18 — 200% (monthly income of about $2,933 for family of 3)
Non-working — 13%
Working — 20%
Pregnant woman — 200%
Individual — 13%
Couple — 20%
* Eligibility information was compiled from State Health Facts Online, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and may have changed since this guide was published. Contact your state Medicaid program for the most up to date information and for other eligibility requirements that may apply.
To get an idea of how your income compares to the federal poverty level,* use the federal poverty guideline issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the year 2008:
Size of Family Unit — Poverty Guideline (annual income)
1 – $10,400
2 – $14,000
3 – $17,600
-For larger families add $3,600 for each additional person.
-So, for example, using this guideline, 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of 3 would be an annual income of $35,200, or a monthly income of $2,933.
* Contact your state Medicaid program for the most up to date information and for other eligibility requirements that may apply.
- Parents who receive benefits under TANF (also known Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program, or FITAP) should know that when you get a job and your TANF benefits end, you generally can stay on Medicaid for a 12-month transitional period.
In addition, your children may qualify for transitional Medicaid coverage for 12 months. Or, you may qualify for Medicaid yourself if your family’s income meets the Medicaid income standards (See above.)
- Very poor elderly or disabled people who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can also qualify for Medicaid.
Disabled individuals should know that if your income earned from a job increases so that you no longer qualify for SSI, you may be able to continue your Medicaid coverage at least for a limited time.
- Retired or disabled people who have low incomes and are enrolled in Medicare may also qualify for help from Medicaid. Even though your income may be too high to qualify for Medicaid insurance coverage, there may be other ways Medicaid can help you.
If your household income is below the poverty level, Medicaid will pay your Medicare monthly premium and your Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. This is called the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program.
If your household income is below 120% of the poverty level, Medicaid will pay for your monthly Medicare premiums only. This is called the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program.
Contact your parish office for more information about other eligibility requirements.
- There may be other ways that Medicaid can help. To find out if you or other members of your family qualify for Medicaid or to apply for Medicaid, contact the parish office located in the parish in which you live.
To obtain the locations and telephone number of the parish office near you call the Bureau of Health Care Financing of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.