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The Louisiana Family Opportunity Act Medicaid Buy-in Program



The Family Opportunity Act Medicaid Buy-In Program (FOA) allows states to expand Medicaid coverage to children who meet selected disability and income eligibility criteria. FOA programs may help address family financial hardship as a result of underinsurance. We provide specific information about the FOA program and report the first results of a survey of parents or guardians of children with disabilities who were enrolled in Louisiana’s FOA program.


A convenience sample of families enrolled in the program (N = 52) responded to questions derived from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN). These results were compared to two groups of Louisiana families of CSHCN that had responded to the 2009/10 national survey.


Data suggest that children enrolled in the Louisiana FOA are younger than those enrolled in Supplemental Security Income, are more likely to have functional losses, and, perhaps due to their age, are less likely to have difficulty with anxiety, depression, or behavior problems. FOA families are less likely than families in either group to report receiving help with care coordination, and more likely to report financial problems due to their child’s health. Respondents were also more likely to report that they received all the therapy services and specialty care they needed.


The FOA program thus appears to be filling a niche in coverage needs among families of children with disabilities in Louisiana.

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This research was conducted with support from The Catalyst Center, the National Center for Health Insurance and Financing for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, under grant number U41MC13618 ($473,000) from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This information and its content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as being endorsed by or as the official position or policy of HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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Correspondence to Sara S. Bachman.

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Bachman, S.S., Comeau, M., Dworetzky, B. et al. The Louisiana Family Opportunity Act Medicaid Buy-in Program. Matern Child Health J 19, 2568–2577 (2015).

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  • Financial hardship
  • Health care coverage
  • Health insurance