Without a doubt, many factors contribute to the overall cost of health insurance in the different states in the U.S—Louisiana inclusive.

While the prices of premiums are still not small, thankfully, Louisiana residents can find a health insurance plan that suits their needs while not going over the top in payments. 

However, it would seem like there’s almost a yearly revision in the state and federal laws regulating health insurance in the state beyond costs. We’ll be exploring these changes and juxtaposing them with how they’ve affected and will affect health insurance cost come 2021. 

How much Does Health Insurance Cost In Louisiana?

Premium subsidies are put in place to cut down on the vast majority of healthcare costs. However, without premium subsidies, Louisiana’s exchange average premium in 2020 results in about 5 per month without premium subsidies.

Although many Louisiana exchange enrollees don’t end up paying this amount, about  91% of them receive subsidies

This record-high average witnessed in 2020 wasn’t always that way. In 2018 premium subsidies rose to $525 per month. This was largely because the federal government removed cost-sharing reduction (CSR).

However, subsidies decreased to $497 in 2019 because of an increase in average benchmark premiums for 2020. However, this decrease was short-lived as it bounced back to an all-time high of $563 per month.

What Are The Proposed Rate Changes For 2021?

Beginning from 2021, Louisiana’s exchange insurers have decided that the following average rates will apply:

  • Christus Health Plans: 7.44% average increase.
  • Vantage Health Plan: 2.64% average increase.
  • HMO Louisiana (a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana): 9.5% average increase.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana (Louisiana Health Service and Indemnity Company): 7.95% average increase.

Unsure as to how these rates will impact you by 2021? We’re here to answer all your questions. Get in touch with a licensed Healthcare Search agent right now.

What Type Of Health Insurance Exchange Does Louisiana Have?

Louisiana uses the federally facilitated health insurance exchange. This makes it possible for residents to enroll in different exchange plans. Residents do so using HealthCare.gov.

Due to the state’s involvement in Medicaid, enrollment in the state’s exchange has dropped a great deal. As of August 2020, records showed that more than 538,000 people were enrolled in the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

The increase was due to the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which upped Medicaid’s enrollment far beyond what it has always been.

To minimize the possibility of future rate increases, the state has passed as a law several ACA consumer protections. It’s also been working to establish measures for an invisible risk-sharing program.

This risk-sharing program will be used to make the costs of health insurance premiums affordable. Supposing the ACA were to be reversed in the California v. Texas (Texas v. Azar/US) case ( currently, Louisiana is part of those on the case working to change the ACA).

How Did Health Insurance Premiums Change In Louisiana for 2020?

As of 2020, Louisiana happens to be one of the three states (with the other two being Vermont and Indiana), where average premiums went up by two-digit percentages. 

The state’s health insurance exchange has four insurers providing coverage plans. One of them, Christus Health Plans, a newcomer in Louisiana’s exchange, together with the other three, was responsible for implementing the new average rates below:

  • HMO Louisiana (a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana): About 12.3% increment, although this rate varies based on the plan.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana (Louisiana Health Service and Indemnity Company): About 10.7% increment, although this rate varies based on the plan.
  • Vantage Health Plan: About 5.5% increase, although this rate varies based on the plan. 
  • Christus Health Plans: There’s no applicable rate change. This is because they are new in Louisiana’s market.

Rate filings are available to the general public on the Louisiana Department of Insurance website. However, you can contact us at Healthcare Search to help you with whatever issues you might encounter along the way.

What Were The Average Rate Changes In Previous Years?

To shed more light on this issue, let’s take a rundown of changes in premium in the state’s health insurance exchange since the debut of ACA-compliant plans in 2014:

  • In 2015, the analysis revealed that premiums went up by an average of 12% in Louisiana.  However, the study also showed no increase whatsoever nationally, i.e., there was a 0% change in premiums nationally.
  • In 2016, two out of Louisiana’s market carriers requested that the rates be increased by 10% or more. Their requests were granted, leading to about 15.4% overall increase in premiums.
  • In 2017, both BCBSLA, HMO Louisiana, Humana, and Vantage Health Plan increased their rates. This led to an average increase of about 23% – 43% in premium price.
  • In 2018, cost-sharing reduction (CSR) was eliminated; this spiked up the rate increase by an average of 21.4%
  • In 2019, the Louisiana Department of Insurance declared that average rates for individual market plans sold through the state’s health insurance exchange would be 6.4% less than they had been in 2018.

When Is Open Enrollment For 2021 Health Insurance In Louisiana?

Open enrollment for 2021 health commences from the 1st of November and ends on the 15th of December, 2020.

If a person misses the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), they might still be allowed to enroll or make changes to their existing healthcare plans. Although this clause only comes into play when they have a qualifying event.

Bottom Line

The next Open Enrollment Period is less than two months away. Now is the best time to begin reviewing your plans. If you need any help whatsoever, feel free to contact us at Healthcare Search. You can contact us on this number 985-273-5822 for speedy assistance from one of our agents. 

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