With the global pandemic hitting hard all through the world, Louisiana residents like anyone else need to secure their health and wellbeing with a proper health insurance plan. More than a quarter of the Louisiana population has coverage through the publicly-funded Medicaid program. However, nine in ten Louisiana residents enrolled in private individual plans get subsidies to lower their monthly premiums. Individuals looking for private individual health plans can look for ACA-compliant health plans that are available to individuals and families of the state who do not have employer-sponsored or government-funded health plans. Enrolling in the ACA-compliant plans is the best option for the uninsured as these plans guarantee that people cannot be denied a health plan because of their health and these plans also provide coverage for any pre-existing health conditions.
Residents need to be aware that the state has a federally-facilitated marketplace, so they enroll in ACA plans through Healthcare.gov. By the end of the open enrollment period for 2021 coverage, enrollment in private plans was just over 83,000 people. Though the COVID-related enrollment window continues through August 15, 2021, the enrollment rate is expected to rise further. Louisiana is keen to provide affordable coverage to its residents so the state has enacted various ACA consumer protections into state law, and is also working to establish parameters for an invisible risk-sharing program that may be used to keep health insurance affordable if in case ACA gets overturned. The COVID-related special enrollment window can be used by uninsured residents to enroll in a plan and current enrollees can even use this window to switch plans.
Vital Statistics Related to Louisiana Health Insurance
- Louisiana has federally facilitated exchange, so residents make use of HealthCare.gov to enroll in exchange plans.
- In Louisiana, the COVID-related enrollment window continues through August 15, 2021, during which the uninsured can enroll in a health plan with no qualifying event necessary.
- Health Insurers’ overall average rate increase for 2021 health plans was about 7%.
- Louisiana has a total population of 4,578,500, out of which 11% of residents are uninsured in the state.
- The cheapest silver health insurance plan in Louisiana for most people is the Blue POS 80/60 $3400 plan.
- The average monthly cost of a health insurance plan in Louisiana is $629 for a 40-year-old in the year 2021.
Types of Individual Plans available in Louisiana
Health insurance cannot be confined to a one-size-fits-all concept because every individual has specific health care needs and hence, they prefer to obtain health coverage depending upon their health conditions as well as financial status. Thus, to ensure that residents of the state have access to health plans depending upon their health requirements and budget, the private individual health plans are categorized into different metal-tiers. The different metal-tiers of plans available in Louisiana are Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver, and Gold metal-tier plans. The monthly premium amount and out-of-pocket costs vary depending upon the plan’s metal tier. Higher-tier plans like Gold plans have higher monthly premiums but lower deductibles like deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Thus, gold tier health plans are ideal for individuals having chronic medical conditions and frequently need to visit a doctor. On average, a Gold plan covers around 80% of insured health care expenses whereas the insured are supposed to pay the remaining 20% of the medical costs. Gold plans prove out to be more cost-effective for individuals expecting high medical costs.
Silver plans are best for middle and low income-group individuals, as silver plans have a moderate monthly premium and out-of-pocket costs and lower-income individuals even qualify for cost-sharing reduction subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Generally, Silver plans cover around 70% of the health care costs while individuals are required to pay 30%, but with CSR subsidies individuals may qualify for a Silver plan that covers up to 94% of their healthcare costs.
Expanded Bronze and Bronze plans have cheaper monthly premiums compared to higher metal-tier plans but have reduced coverage. These plans are usually recommended to young and healthy individuals who don’t have high medical costs. A Bronze plan covers around 60% of an individual’s healthcare cost whereas an Expanded Bronze plan covers about 65% of the medical costs while the remaining amount is paid by the insured.
Average Cost of Health Insurance in Louisiana by Metal-Tier
|Type of Plan||Premium for 21-Year||Premium for 40-Year|
Private Health Insurance Options in Louisiana
All the uninsured residents of Louisiana who don’t have access to health coverage through their employers or government-sponsored health insurance plans can purchase health plans either from the health insurance marketplace, or through health insurance portals, or directly from the health insurance carriers. Some of the ways to obtain private health insurance in Louisiana is through Louisiana exchange, through public programs like Medicaid and CHIP, private health insurance carrier, or through the health insurance marketplace. There are plenty of private health insurance carriers in Louisiana and so whether individuals need a specific type of coverage or prefer a specific insurance company, they will find a health plan that fits their budget and meet their needs. Residents of Louisiana can find affordable health insurance plans either on the federally run state health insurance exchange or through Medicaid. However, the best health plan will depend on the coverage chosen by the individuals and the area where they live.
Health Insurance Carriers Present in Louisiana
Presently, four health insurance carriers are operating in Louisiana offering health plans in the year 2021:
- HMO Louisiana Inc.
- Vantage Health Plan Inc.
- Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Co.
- CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana