Best Health Insurance Plans in Louisiana

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What should you expect when it comes to health care in Louisiana? According to a study by U.S. News, Louisiana has the fourth worst health care in the nation. That study considers access, quality, and good public health. But residents still have plenty of health care options.

Health Care Choices in Louisiana

According to the LA Department of Insurance, there are several ways for residents to get health care:

  1. Employer-provided
    1. From your employer
    2. Through your spouse's employer
    3. Through COBRA
  2. Individual or family plans
    1. Through HealthCare.gov
    2. Directly from a health insurance company
  3. Government-assisted
    1. Medicare
    2. Medicaid

Where do most Louisianans get their health insurance coverage?

Louisiana Health Insurance Sources
Sources Percent
Employer-Provided 42%
Individual or family 6%
Medicaid 25%
Medicare 14%
Uninsured 11%
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population

Eleven percent of LA residents have no insurance, a few percent above the national average. That's unfortunate for policyholders, as the more uninsured people there are, the higher rates are for insured people.

Louisiana Health Insurance Costs and Rate Factors

Louisiana residents spend an average of $7,815 every year on health care, slightly less than the national average. What determines your health insurance cost? Monthly premiums differ person to person, mainly based on these factors:

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Body Mass Index

Health insurance companies analyze your body mass to determine your risk-level. That’s because a high BMI can lead to serious health conditions. As a result, a high BMI also leads to high insurance rates.

In 2016, LA had a 35.5 percent obesity rate, the fifth highest rate in the nation. Of thousands of Louisianans who used QuoteWizard to compare health insurance plans, 38 percent have a BMI in the obese range.

Tobacco Use

Smokers pay more for health insurance because of the serious illnesses it causes. About 22.8 percent of LA residents are smokers, the fourth highest rate in the nation.

Age

Health insurance plans for older people tend to cost up to three times more than for younger people. State residents who used QuoteWizard to shop for health insurance are, on average, 41 years old.

Plan Type

The more health care coverage you want, the more you’ll pay in monthly premiums. Marketplace plans come in metal tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.

How much should you expect to pay for health insurance in LA? These are the average monthly premiums for a middle-aged, non-smoking state resident in 2018:

Louisiana Martketplace Plan Rates
Bronze Silver Gold
$367 $445 $550
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Change in Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier

Premiums for gold plans cost nearly 50 percent more than bronze plans. That price jump is because gold plans cover 80 percent of medical costs, whereas bronze plans cover 60 percent of costs.

You may also qualify 367for a catastrophic plan, the lowest level of coverage available. Catastrophic plans have low monthly premiums but a yearly deductible of $7,150. Because of that high deductible, it may actually save you money to invest in a bronze or silver plan.

Location

One of the most important factors in determining your health care prices is where you live. Every state has different rules, regulations, and providers surrounding their marketplace.

Health insurance rates are community-rated, which means costs are partly based on the combined claims everyone files. So, if a neighbor files a high number of claims, your prices could increase.

The health of your state also plays a role. According to America’s Health Rankings, LA is the second unhealthiest state in the country.

Louisiana Health Insurance Companies

LA is full of providers that offer individual and family plans. These are the top health insurance companies in the state:

Louisiana Health Insurance Laws

The Affordable Care Act aims to protect residents from unfair policy pricing. There are some factors that the ACA limits providers from considering while determining your rates.

There’s a limit to how much you can pay out-of-pocket for a marketplace plan. In 2018, the out-of-pocket maximum is $7,350 for an individual plan and $14,700 for a family plan.

Louisiana state law requires health insurance companies to offer at least some coverage for the following services:

  • Emergency room service
  • Hearing aids for minors
  • Maternity minimum stay
  • Severe mental illness
  • Cancer screenings
  • Immunizations for children up to age six

There are additional services that insurers need to offer coverage for. Find the full list on cms.gov.

Medicare and Medicaid in Louisiana

Medicare and Medicaid are both government-funded health care programs. They aim to offer affordable care for different groups of residents. Medicare helps seniors, whereas Medicaid aids low-income families and children.

Medicare

Medicare aids LA residents 65 and older. There are several coverage options within Medicare. These options include parts A, B, C, D, and supplemental coverage plans. You may also be eligible for one of these Medicare Savings Programs:

Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB):

  • Single person with a monthly income lower than $1,012.
  • Couple with a monthly income lower than $1,372.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB):

  • Single person with a monthly income lower than $1,366.
  • Couple with a monthly income lower than $1,852.

Medicaid

Medicaid aids low-income families and children. These are the state’s Medicaid financial requirements:

Louisiana Medicaid Financial Requirements
Household Size Maximum Yearly Income
1 $16,040
2 $21,599
3 $27,159
4 $32,718
5 $38,277
6 $43,837
7 $49,396
8 $54,956

Louisiana Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Website:
Homepage
Insurance Commissioner:
Jim Donelon
Insurance Hotline:
(800) 259 - 5300
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 4:30 pm
File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
Complaint Page

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