Choosing a Health Plan and a Provider

You will be asked to choose a Health Plan and a primary care provider (PCP) from that Plan for each member of your family who has Medicaid or LaCHIP. (A Health Plan is a group of doctors, nurses, and other staff who work together to provide health care. A primary care provider is a doctor, nurse practitioner, or clinic that provides family care.)


  • Your PCP will get to know you and your health care needs. The PCP will provide most of your care, keep your records, and ensure that you see specialists when you need to.
  • You will also get no-cost preventive care, such as checkups and education, to help keep you well.

Health Plans

Your Health Plan will make sure you can see the right doctor when you need to. All Plans provide the same medical services you had in Medicaid or LaCHIP. The Plans also offer extra services, such as diabetes or asthma management programs. Plans also may offer extra benefits such as gift cards for people who take their children to the doctor for checkups.

Tips for choosing a Health Plan

If you have a doctor now

  1. Make a list of the doctors, clinics, hospitals, and other providers you use now. Decide which ones are important to you and which ones you want to keep using.
  2. Find out which Health Plans the providers work with: Either Search for the providers to find out, or call the doctor, or call Bayou Health to ask.

If you don't have a doctor

If you don't have a doctor, choose a Plan first.

By comparing Plans, you can see which Plans offer services you want. All Plans offer the same basic benefits and health management programs, and some offer extra services as well. See what Plans have programs and services you want. Some examples of programs and services are:

  • rewards for healthy living
  • unlimited primary care physician (PCP)visits for adult members
  • help to quit smoking
  • limited dental benefits for adult members
  • free over the counter medications

What happens if you don't choose?

You must be in Medicaid or LaCHIP to be enrolled into Bayou Health. You will be asked to choose a plan when you apply for Medicaid or LaCHIP. You will be enrolled into the Health Plan you've chosen. If you did not choose a Health Plan, we will choose one for you.

Bayou Health will send you a confirmation letter in the mail telling you which Health Plan you've been enrolled in. You can change Health Plans if you no longer wish to stay in the plan you've been enrolled in. If you have questions, call Bayou Health at 1-855-BAYOU-4U (1-855-229-6848). We can help!

Some members are not required to join a Plan.

Most people in Medicaid and LaCHIP must join a Plan however other groups may not You may not need to join a Health Plan if you:

  • are Native American or Alaskan Native, or
  • have a child getting care from a Children's Special Health Service Clinic; call Bayou Health and let us know that you are enrolled in CSHS if you do not wish to be in Bayou Health.
  • are a CHISHOLM member
  • and other groups

Most people in Medicaid and LaCHIP must join a Plan. Call Bayou Health if you have questions.

What is Bayou Health?

This program was created to improve the way many Louisianans get health care. Read about why this program was created.


Call Bayou Health. We can help!

Toll-Free Number:


Call Monday - Friday,
8AM - 5PM, to talk with a trained Bayou Health agent.

Call any day or time and use our automated phone system to choose, change Health Plans, or get answers to common questions about Bayou Health.