Access to healthcare is important in rural communities. The Allen Parish Community Healthcare Hospital is reminding residents they need to do their part in making sure they hold on to healthcare coverage.

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“We are a 69 percent rural community. That’s a large chunk of Allen Parish,” Kimberly Caldarea with Allen Parish Community Healthcare said.

Caldarera explained many of those in the rural areas of the parish are a recipient of Medicaid.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, over 2 million Louisianans are covered by Medicaid. That’s about 40 percent of the state’s population.

But now some could be losing their coverage.

“Medicaid is having a Medicaid unwind where that continuous enrollment is stopping,” Caldarea said.

The continuous coverage requirement that started during the pandemic to expand coverage is now over as of April 1, and Medicaid is sending out a pink letter to recipients in the mail.

“To alert the community ‘Hey open this letter’, we need your information. We need you to update your name, your address, your email, your phone number,” Caldarea said.

The federal program provides access to healthcare for Americans who may be low-income or have limited resources.

“People get in a bind where are they going to buy groceries or go to the doctor? So in these rural communities, please be alert about these letters coming out,” Caldarea said.

Caldarea said answering these letters and updating your information is crucial to maintaining Medicaid coverage.

“It is extremely important to open that letter. Do not set it aside. Do not assume you will be covered,” Caldarea said.

And if you don’t respond:

“After 60 days you will be dropped from Medicaid,” Caldarea said.

She said if you don’t receive a letter, you can update your information online or over the phone with the Louisiana Department of Health.

KPLC News | published April 12, 2023 | by Andrea Robinson | Article link