- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on a $368 million federal financing increase for Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion program (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

State lawmakers have agreed to boost federal financing for Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion program by another $368 million.

More than 428,000 people have enrolled in the government-financed coverage, more people than the health department projected for this year. And those who have signed up are older and costlier patients than expected.

The joint House and Senate budget committee agreed Monday evening to add the extra available federal money into the health department budget to keep paying for the program in the budget year that ends June 30.

Lawmakers backed the financing addition without objection, even though House Republicans on the committee have worried about the rising price tag for the Medicaid expansion program. The program costs $2.3 billion this year.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration started the coverage on July 1.

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10:30 a.m.

Louisiana lawmakers are being asked to add $368 million in federal funding to the health department budget to keep from running out of money for the state’s Medicaid expansion.

The Louisiana Department of Health has enrolled more people than expected in Medicaid expansion since Gov. John Bel Edwards began the program. Those signing up for the free insurance coverage are older and costlier patients than projected.

More than 428,000 people have enrolled in the government-financed coverage.

The Medicaid expansion program is scheduled to run out of federal financing Tuesday. The Legislature’s joint budget committee is meeting Monday to consider accepting the federal dollars and filling the gap.

The health department says it would have to temporarily shuffle dollars from other programs to pay providers, without federal financing approval from lawmakers.

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