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Much thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare), the number of Louisiana health insurance plan owners increased considerably, although a little late. Regardless of the delay in Medicaid expansion, it still pushed the uninsured rating of the state considerably. Many changes still await approval and implementation, especially those that the new President will pass. In the meantime, read this guide containing some of the latest and most important information about coverage in LA this 2017.

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The link between health ratings and premiums

When it comes to considering risks, insurers factor in the overall health performance of a location. In other words, places that perform well in health rankings usually have good rates.

In The Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 State Health System Performance, Louisiana ranked 48th of 50 states and District of Columbia. It received a quintile of 4 in all categories (except Access, where it got 3) including Prevention & Treatment, Avoidable Hospital Use & Costs, Healthy Lives, and Equity. Take a look at these key findings:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 123 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 23.9 out of 100,000 women

  • Colorectal cancer fatalities: 18.4 out of 100,000 individuals

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 23%

  • Adult obesity: 36%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 40%

The organization also compared the state with the country for the following components under the “Access” indicator:

  • 22% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%

  • 5% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 17% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it (the same with the US average)

  • 19% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills, 2% higher than the national average of 16%

How much insurers reimburse

The type of metal tier you choose will dictate the percentage your insurer will cover. Platinum provides the biggest reimbursement, but the most popular of all levels is silver. Below are the metal plans available in the state, as well as the portion the carrier will shoulder.

Bronze – 60%

Silver – 70%

Gold – 80%

Platinum – 90%

Bronze
Silver
Gold
Platinum

On average, the 2017 rate increase from the exchange plan carriers reached about 31%. Your individual premiums will still depend on the specific carrier you choose, as well as other personal factors. To help you have an idea though, the United States Department of Health & Human Services provided these premium average projections:

  • Average lowest-cost, monthly premium within metal level: $480

  • Average net premium for lowest cost plan within metal tier: $90

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $340

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $142

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $1,230

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $405

The huge drop in the state’s uninsured rating

Arguably one of the best things that happened to the state is the significant drop in the count of individuals living here without insurance. This paved the way for a somewhat lower rate increase. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Louisiana, with an estimated population of 4,670,724 (2015, latest data1), saw a 5.9% decrease in its uninsured rating in 2015. It went down to 11.9% from the 17.8% rating in 2010, resulting in 269,000 people gaining access to health coverage. Despite the state ranking fourth lowest, it doesn’t mean you don’t have hope of securing a good deal on a plan. Carriers will still use your health as a primary premium-determiner. To find out more about health insurance, read this article, Health Insurance: To A Better Quality of Life.

References:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/louisiana/

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/20/louisiana/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/212721/2017MarketplaceLandscapeBrief.pdf

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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