SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana is gearing up to join the wave of other states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility.
It's a move that state leaders feel will work towards a healthier Louisiana.
"Anyone who meets the income requirements will qualify, we certainly encourage men who historically have been excluded from Medicaid services to apply," said David Raines Community Health Centers CEO Willie White.
The new Medicaid Expansion known as healthy Louisiana knocks the cap off of previous standards.
The change is expected to give an estimated 300,000 people access to enrollment.
"Those are people who are uninsured, the people who are using the emergency room as their primary care doctor," said White.
Louisiana becomes the 32nd state to adopt the expansion now allowing men and women between the ages of 19-64 to enroll.
"Getting people in to the right environment in the least costly primary care doctor that's actually produce better outcome for them," added White.
That means slashing emergency room costs, and treating patients preventively through Medicaid state leaders believe that philosophy will decrease the state's debt overtime and ultimately save tax payer's money.
"When you go to the hospital, somebody is paying for it, and those of us who have coverage are paying the difference through higher premiums, so is beneficial economically, and from a health care stand point," said White.
Governor Bel Edwards signed the executive order on January 12.
The expansion takes effect on July 1.
In order for a single person to qualify. The person must make no more than $16,243.
A family of four must make no more than $33,465. Applicants don't have to have a job to be eligible. They don't have to have children and must meet the citizenship requirement.