The Department of Health is sponsoring an extensive outreach campaign throughout the months of August and September as part of its annual Back-to-School health insurance enrollment drive. Statewide efforts will focus on informing the public about the availability of public health coverage for uninsured children through the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) and Medicaid programs.

“There is no better time to focus on health care priorities for children than when they head back to school in the fall,” LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise said. “We know that healthier children perform better in school. Identifying those uninsured children and making certain they have the health care coverage they need is an important preparation step for the school year.”

LaCHIP provides Louisiana families with low to moderate incomes the opportunity to secure health care coverage for their children at little or no cost. The program is available to uninsured Louisiana children under 18 in families with an income at 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or lower. A family of four can earn a monthly income of $3,442 and still qualify for LaCHIP coverage.

Act 407 of the 2007 Louisiana Legislative Session expanded LaCHIP eligibility to include families that earn up to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($5,163 gross monthly income for a family of four). The higher income level of LaCHIP will be available later this year, and families in this range will be expected to pay an affordable premium.

The Back-to-School outreach is a statewide effort, with LaCHIP representatives participating in events held at schools, stores, churches and community centers in nearly 40 Louisiana cities. Workers will be distributing information about various health coverage programs, processing LaCHIP and Medicaid applications, renewing coverage for families that need to update their contact information and providing eligibility determinations when possible.

LaCHIP will also extend its state coverage by increasing hours for its toll-free hotline, 1-877-2LaCHIP (1-877-252-2447). Operators will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.  The new hotline hours will begin on Saturday, July 28 and run throughout the month of August.

Following is a list of events taking place across the state as part of the Back-to-School efforts by LaCHIP.  In addition to the following dates and locations, applications and renewal forms are available online at or by calling the toll-free LaCHIP hotline at (877) 2LaCHIP(252-2447).