05.09.12 Rhonda Matthews hopes Louisiana's privately run Medicaid program, dubbed Bayou Health, brings more benefits than changes.
Matthews quizzed representatives of five health plans at a recent enrollment meeting in Haughton before signing up with Amerigroup. Her sons, ages 16 and 5, have ADHD. She wants them to keep the same doctor and get the same level of care. She's also covered by Medicaid.
Louisiana started working to privatize its Medicaid program in 2010 primarily to save money. In theory, the health plans will provide greater access to preventive and prenatal care and specialists. The savings would come from keeping people with chronic illnesses out of the emergency room and babies out of newborn intensive care units.