The Obamacare Louisiana state exchange is run by the federal government. This is because Louisiana’s government has opted out of running their own exchange. So, the Federal government runs the Louisiana exchange for them. Purchase Obamacare Louisiana policies on their state exchange at: Healthcare.gov.
The healthcare marketplace in Louisiana is responsible for signing up 400,000 people who lack healthcare insurance. Louisiana is one of 36 states that will let the Federal government run their healthcare marketplace. Here is Gov. Bobby Jindal talking about his thoughts on Obamacare:
For a 27 year old (cheapest age) weighted average in New Orleans, LA (monthly premiums) before federal tax credits:
- The cheapest Bronze plan costs $170
- The cheapest Silver plan costs $209
- The cheapest Gold plan costs $239
- The cheapest catastrophic plan (under 30) is $139.
The Louisiana healthcare exchange is where you can purchase Obamacare insurance plans. Only people who don’t currently have health insurance need to go sign up.
How Do I Sign Up For Obamacare In Louisiana
How do I sign up for Obamacare in Louisiana?
Sign up for Louisiana Obamacare by going to Healthcare.gov. You can purchase healthcare on the Obamacare Louisiana state exchange 3 ways:
- by mail
- in person
Calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) is the phone number for individual Obamacare help. Small business can call 800-706-7893 (800-706-7915). You can go Find Local Obamacare help here.
Open enrollment begins October 1st of each year. Healthcare coverage begins January 1st. You must apply for healthcare via open enrollment by March 31st. You must have health coverage or pay a penalty due to the Individual Mandate. By applying for coverage, you will find out if you qualify for:
- Subsidized Private Insurance Plan
- Private Insurance Plan (likely cheaper premiums than private offerings)
Obamacare For Louisiana Residents
Obamacare for Louisiana residents can be purchased at Healthcare.gov. You can go there to see what plans you qualify for, and how much they cost. Louisiana residents with lower incomes are eligible for subsidies or Medicaid.
Do I Need To Sign Up For Obamacare?
To answer the question, “Do I need to sign up for Obamacare?” consider the following:
- If the insurance you currently have is through your employer or the government, you don’t have to do anything.
- If you don’t have insurance–and have a low income ($15,282 for an individual)–you qualify for the expansion of Medicaid.
- If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you will likely get subsidies for purchasing health insurance when you sign up on the state exchange at Healthcare.gov.
Obamacare Louisiana Rates
Obamacare Louisiana rates vary by the same factors that exist in most states. In Louisiana, the rate you pay for health insurance varies by:
- your age
- your income
- where you live in Louisiana
- if you smoke
- the level of coverage you pick
Federal tax credits will help people with low to mid incomes pay for heath insurance. Obamacare Louisiana tax credits are the same as in other states. The only difference is how the poverty level is defined in each state.
Louisiana rates are also determined by insurance companies who divide Louisiana into regions when setting the rates. The difference between high and low rates for healthcare include:
- regional differences in medial costs
- relative health and age of the population
- disease/mortality rates of the region
- competition between insurers
- (more insurers leads to lower rates)
Louisiana premiums for insurance are coming in lower than expected. The best way to get lower premiums is to qualify for Medicaid. The next best way is to qualify for Federal subsides (immediate tax credits) by falling into the range below.
Subsidies on Louisiana premiums are for individuals and families who make:
- $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
- $15,510 to $62,040 for a family of 2
- $19,530 to $78,120 for a family of 3
- $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of 4
- $27,570 to $110,280 for a family of 5
- $31,590 to $126,360 for a family of 6
- $35,610 to $142,440 for a family of 7
- $39,630 to $158,520 for a family of 8
Individuals and families that make less than this range may be eligible for the expansion of Medicaid (detailed below). Those that make more than this range are not eligible for Federal subsidies, but should still be able to find cheaper plans than in the private sector.
Those that do fall into this range will get Federal subsidies on their health insurance. Obamacare Louisiana premiums also depend on the type of plan you choose. See more about Obamacare plans here. Recent data from the RAND Corporation on Louisiana premiums shows that in Louisiana (before Federal subsidies):
For all age groups and plans combined in Louisiana:
- The Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Bronze) in Louisiana is $265/month (national average is $249).
- The Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Silver) in Louisiana is $356/month. (national average is $310).
- The 2nd Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Silver) in Louisiana is $374/month. (national average is $328).
For a 27 year old (cheapest age) weighted average in Louisiana (monthly premiums) before federal tax credits:
- The cheapest Bronze plan costs $175
- The cheapest Silver plan costs $235
- The cheapest Gold plan costs $253
- The cheapest catastrophic plan (under 30) is $142.
For a family of 4 ($50,000 income) weighted average in Louisiana (monthly premiums):
- The cheapest Bronze plan costs $15/monthly after tax credits (cheap)
- The 2nd cheapest Silver plan costs $902/month before tax credits
- The 2nd cheapest Silver plan costs $282/month after tax credits
These premiums are for weighted averages for most people. Results will vary based on a few factors for your personal situation. The bad news about Louisiana rates is that they are higher than the national average.
This is because Louisiana is traditionally a lightly regulated insurance state. Premiums are higher due to adding all the people that were excluded for preexisting conditions in the past. Insurance companies have also been able to charge higher premiums because there is a lack of competition among insurers.
The good news about Louisiana premiums is that Federal subsidies will help lower costs for many people. Individuals making less than $45,960 are eligible for subsides in Louisiana. Families of four making less than $94,200 should also qualify for subsidies on premiums.
Medicaid Expansion In Louisiana
Medicaid expansion in Louisiana is not going to happen at this time. Under Obamacare, people making less than $15,282 (133% of Federal Poverty Line) should qualify for the Medicaid expansion. But, the Legislature has not approved of the Medicaid expansion at this time.
State Senator, Karen Carter Peterson, says she knows what the reason is, behind the Legislature’s failure to expand Medicaid:
Gov. Bobby Jindal says:
It would burden the state’s already oversize budget.
This statement is controversial. It is the Federal government that would pay for the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana. Of course, over time the Federal government would hand this responsibility to Louisiana. All of this may sound complicated, but all you have to do is sign up at Healthcare.gov. Go there to see what Obamacare in Louisiana can do for you.