Baton Rouge --- Staff of the Medicaid program in the Louisiana Department of Health are working in shelters for evacuees of Hurricane Katrina, FEMA Family Assistance Centers and local Medicaid offices to enroll families impacted by the storm in the Medicaid program.

 Also, LDH has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Education and is using volunteers from that agency to help identify and enroll eligible families into Medicaid on-site at shelters.

 The Hurricane Katrina Louisiana Medicaid Program is primarily for children younger than 19, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people who are 65 years of age or older and very low-income parents with children younger than 19. Many people who have not qualified for the program in the past will qualify because they have lost their homes and their jobs because of the storm.

 Due to the difficulty that many families who have evacuated their homes would have in providing documentation typically required to apply for Medicaid, the state has eliminated some of the verification requirements, making it easier to apply.  Those affected by the storm can apply for the program in person or at a local Medicaid office. Applications are available at Medicaid offices, on the Medicaid Web site, or by calling the Medicaid General Hotline, 1-888-342-6207.

 Louisiana residents who had Medicaid or LaCHIP before the storm need to inform the Medicaid program of their new location, even if it is only temporary. This can be done by calling the Medicaid General Hotline (1-888-342-6207), completing a “change of address” form being circulated statewide or and completing the online address change form.

 The Medicaid General Hotline (1-888-342-6207) is also operating seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 take Medicaid applications from and provide information for people affected by Hurricane Katrina.