Louisiana's Medicaid expansion reaches 500K, still growing

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's Medicaid expansion program continues to add more people to the taxpayer-financed health insurance rolls, topping 500,000 enrollees this year and still growing.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration had expected a steeper slowdown in enrollment nearly three years after the Democratic governor expanded Medicaid to more income levels as allowed under the federal health overhaul.

Instead, the health department told a Medicaid forecasting panel it's continuing to see sizable growth in sign-ups.

The agency estimates a 7.5 percent enrollment increase this budget year, followed by a similar increase next year.

Medicaid expansion is expected to provide insurance to 560,000 people by June 2020.

Health department financial officer Pam Diez says at that point, about 89 percent of Louisiana residents eligible for Medicaid expansion would be enrolled in the program.

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