Centers offer help in Medicaid application

Ascension Parish residents preparing to apply for Medicaid can now get help in the application process at the Ascension Counseling Centers in Gonzales and Donaldsonville.

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez announced in an April 16 news release that the Ascension Counseling Center has been certified as a Medicaid Application Center.

Three of the center’s staff members attended the Medicaid Application Center two-day training, passed a written exam, and are qualified and certified to understand and follow Medicaid guidelines and procedures, Suzanne Hamilton, director of the counseling center, said.

Additionally, two managers have completed a Medicaid Management Orientation, she said.

Medicaid is a means of paying for the delivery of medical care to eligible needy residents, the news release says. In 1992, the state Department of Health and Hospitals began recruiting and approving facilities statewide to become application centers to assist applicants with Medicaid applications, the release says.

The purpose of application centers is to provide outreach to individuals and families by interviewing and completing an initial application to Medicaid. Application centers make the Medicaid process more accessible to residents by providing services in the local community, the release says.

Hamilton said applications will be processed online for free in the Gonzales and Donaldsonville clinics with the help of one of the Medicaid representatives.

Hamilton said there are several ways a resident can get started:

The Gonzales clinic is at 1112 S.E. Ascension Complex Blvd. and the Donaldsonville clinic is at 419 Memorial Blvd.

“We will process applications for any Ascension Parish resident free of charge, and they do not need to be receiving any other services from us,” Hamilton said. “We have also qualified as service providers for Medicaid recipients with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals after an on-site facility inspection of our buildings was done. We demonstrated to Medicaid inspectors that our buildings, staff and programs meet their requirements.”

The Ascension Counseling Center, a department of Ascension Parish government, provides outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families who are residents of Ascension Parish, the release says.

The center is supported by a 2-mill property tax, Hamilton said.