The Department of Health (DHH) extended the discontinuation date of the Louisiana Health Insurance Premium Payment (LaHIPP) program Monday, moving the date from July 1 to Dec. 1, 2015.

LDH is moving the date in an effort to give families more time to make arrangements for the change, such as enrolling in Bayou Health or finding a new provider if their current providers do not accept Medicaid as primary payer. All Medicaid-eligible recipients will continue to keep their current form of Medicaid coverage, although some may transition from legacy fee-for-service Medicaid to a Bayou Health plan by Dec. 1. The Department also will continue to pay the applicable portion of the recipient's private insurance until the Dec. 1 discontinuation date.

Bayou Health, Louisiana's Medicaid managed care program, has been successful in both increasing recipients' access to care and saving the state money. Because of those successes, LDH determined it is more cost-effective to transition some LaHIPP to Bayou Health. Some LaHIPP recipients receiving home- or community-based waivers may choose to opt into a Bayou Health plan for certain services or may elect to remain on legacy fee-for-service Medicaid.

The Department is sending letters to each of the approximately 1,500 households with additional details. Recipients who have questions about these changes or would like to transition from legacy fee-for-service Medicaid into a Bayou Health plan may call LDH offices Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-888-342-6207.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.

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