The Louisiana Department of Health Medicaid Program, in conjunction with Louisiana Covering Kids & Families, has begun a targeted two-year outreach project designed to reduce the number of uninsured children in the central Louisiana area. 

The project, called the Central Louisiana Walker-Talker Program, was made possible by funding provided through a $100,000 grant from the Rapides Foundation. Through the program, staff with LDH and Covering Kids will aggressively market the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) to communities within the Foundation’s nine-parish service area in central Louisiana.

LaCHIP is a health insurance program that is designed to bring quality health care to uninsured children and teens up to the age of nineteen in Louisiana. Since LaCHIP began in 1998, the number of Louisiana children who have health coverage has increased by more than 335,000. Yet, there are still upwards of 77,000 children who remain eligible, with approximately 5,200 in these nine parishes of central Louisiana.

Armed with data gathered from the 2003 Louisiana Household Insurance Survey, Covering Kids has identified a number of communities and/or neighborhoods throughout central Louisiana that have higher rates of uninsured children under age 19.

The first area being targeted by the program is in Mansura. The inaugural community event, “Avoyelles Parish LaCHIP Day,” will be held at the Chicken Palace, 1878 Leglise Street, on Friday, January 14 from    2 - 6 p.m. and Saturday, January 15 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

LDH and Covering Kids staff will be on hand to provide health insurance information to any interested Avoyelles Parish residents. Promotional items, hot dogs and refreshments will be available. Applications will also be completed on-site for the convenience of applicants.

To receive a LaCHIP application by mail, call 1-877-2LaCHIP (1-877-252-2447).

For more information on LaCHIP or to view highlights and details of the 2003 uninsured survey, visit the LDH website at

Contact Information:

Covering Kids Walker-Talker Program Director:  318-448-6778 - Leslie Young
Region 6 LaCHIP Outreach Coordinator: 318-487-5011 - Lester Turner
Central La. Covering Kids Office: 318-561-4147 - Lin Stewart
Avoyelles Parish Medicaid Office: 318-253-5946 - Susan Lemoine