Louisiana health insurance exchange
Federal government releases first-month enrollment for Louisiana marketplace
By Carla Anderson
November 26, 2013
According an October enrollment report for the health insurance marketplaces, the first such report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), applications for more than 14,000 Louisiana residents were submitted during the first month of the enrollment period. Just 387 of the more than 10,000 Louisianans deemed eligible to purchase insurance through the marketplace have taken the final step of selecting a health plan. About 1,500 additional people have qualified for Medicaid or the Children’s State Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Louisiana is among the 26 states that left all responsibility for its health insurance marketplace to the federal government. Gov. Bobby Jindal repeatedly rejected a state-run exchange and even returned a $1 million federal planning grant.
Five insurers are offering individual and family policies through the marketplace in Louisiana: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Coventry, Humana, Louisiana Health Cooperative, and Vantage. Louisiana Health Cooperative is a new is a new consumer operated and oriented plan (CO-OP), formed by formed by Ochsner Health System and other groups. Louisiana’s Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon told The Times-Picayune that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana currently controls 75 percent of the state’s health insurance market, so it is encouraging to see a new player and three other insurers participating in the new marketplace.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Louisiana Health Cooperative and Vantage are selling policies through small business (SHOP) exchange. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees can use the SHOP for 2014; the Affordable Care Act calls for opening the SHOP to larger employers in future years.
According to a report released by HHS, the average cost for a bronze plan —the lowest-cost option — in Louisiana is $265 a month. The national average for a bronze policy is $249 a month.
According to HHS, nearly 795,000 people in Louisiana (20 percent of the state population) are uninsured and eligible to use the marketplace. Open enrollment for coverage in 2014 runs from Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. With an extension announced in late November, consumers now have until Dec. 23 to purchase a policy for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Louisiana health insurance exchange links
State Exchange Profile: Louisiana
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Louisiana’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
Louisiana Department of Insurance, Office of Health Insurance
Assists consumers who have purchased insurance on the individual market or who have insurance through an employer who only does business in Louisiana.
(225) 219-4770 / Toll Free: (800) 259-5301