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2021 Louisiana Health Insurance
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To get health insurance or not? That is a question many Louisiana residents have been asking themselves recently. The present world is full of trying circumstances, let alone viruses and diseases that seem to get worse every single year. Without Louisiana medical insurance, you have no shield against illness and what comes after—the expenses.
Don’t wait until open enrollment to start gathering 2021 health insurance quotes! You can start researching and comparing prices today. Before you begin, however, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Let’s have a look.
Types of Health Plans
Though all Louisiana health insurance found on the Marketplace will all have the essential health benefits outlined in the policy, there are things that separate one plan from the next. First, you can choose a metal tier of coverage—bronze, expanded bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Few states offer platinum. You can also get catastrophic plans. Bronze typically covers 60 percent of the medical cost, so you pay 40 percent. Silver covers around 70 percent, gold around 80 percent, and platinum covers up to 90 percent.
After that, you will find that every brand of health insurance has a plan type revolving around a network of doctors, specialists, and medical facilities. The four common health plan types include:
The least freedom when choosing your healthcare providers, but the cheapest in terms of overall cost. You will choose a primary care physician (PCP), who will also give you referrals to see specialists when needed. If you go out of network, nothing is covered.
Pricier than HMOs but more flexible. If you stay within the network, you pay less than you would going out of network. You don’t have to choose a PCP, nor do you need referrals.
Similar to an HMO, you choose a primary care provider. However, you can go out of network during an emergency. Your PCP provides referrals for visits to specialists.
If you prefer flexibility when choosing who to visit but want to have a primary care physician to help coordinate your medical care, then a POS plan is ideal. Premiums are lower than PPOs but slightly higher than HMOs.
Why You Should Have Louisiana Medical Insurance
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has made health insurance more available to Americans, regardless of their age, location, gender, or preexisting conditions. Even those with an income below the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) can receive subsidies that decrease the cost of medical insurance, making it far more affordable than ever before. Depending on the health plan you receive, you may have to pay deductibles, copay, or coinsurance, but all of these things are cheaper than having to pay for medical care out of pocket.
For example, the cost of a single day in the hospital—known as an inpatient day—is about $1,900 in Louisiana. Without an individual health plan, you would have to pay in full. Meanwhile, someone with medical coverage pays a smaller percentage of the cost.
Ever since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), policies compliant with the federal regulations must contain essential health benefits. The core of the policy is built around the services, and you cannot be denied of them. The essential health benefits include:
Since these essential benefits are considered a benchmark, most policies rarely differ when it comes to these treatments and services. Some insurance companies will add other benefits, such as coverage for female birth control and breastfeeding. There are also some things that health insurance will never cover, such as cosmetic surgery, which is not considered essential (unless there is an exception).
Short Term Health Insurance
Louisiana follows the federal regulations that state short term health insurance can initially last for 364 days then have a total duration (counting renewals) for 36 months. However, some states do have more restrictions. Louisiana, for example, usually limits initial terms to 6 months—but this only applies if the insurer looks back past 12 months to determine the status of preexisting conditions. If pre existing conditions are not considered, then the initial term can be up to 364 days.
That said, Louisiana does not limit renewals nor prohibit them, so you can make subsequent purchases of short term health insurance repeatedly.
What You Need To Know About Louisiana Health Insurance
Here is a snapshot of healthcare in Louisiana: As of 2017, there were over 4.5 million residents, and about 8 percent of them were uninsured. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the same year, 1,453,118 people were enrolled in HMOs. A large portion of the population also uses employer-sponsored plans.
For those seeking individual medical plans, two things generally affect your rate: your age and metal tier. Higher tiers come with higher fees but lower copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. As you get older, you will find that your health insurance also costs more.
Now, for the average cost of individual health insurance in Louisiana. There are five tiers of coverage, from Bronze to Platinum. For a 21 year old, bronze tier costs around $389 a month, expanded bronze costs around $266, silver costs $509, gold costs $556 a month, and platinum is $629 a month. A 40 year old pays $458 per month on average for bronze, $484 for expanded bronze, $665 for silver, $710 for gold, and $804 for platinum. A 60 year old pays $1,056/month for bronze, $1,382 for silver, and $1,708 for platinum.
Rates have generally remained the same in Louisiana since 2018. In 2020, bronze tier policies dropped around 8 percent from 2018, bringing the average monthly premium from $497 to $458. Expanded bronze prices rose around 3.7 percent, so prices now range between $467-$488 on average. Silver rose 2 percent, and gold and platinum remained about the same.
Looking for family health insurance? Typically, the monthly premium is calculated by the metal tier you choose and the ages of everyone in your family. Once a child turns 15, the rates of your family plan will begin to increase. For example, if you and your spouse are 40 years old and have no children, you pay around $1,330 a month. If you have one child, you pay around $1,730 on the same plan. A family of four pays $2,127 on average.
Unemployed, Part-Time, and Self-Employed
There are many people who are currently on unemployment benefits yet nearing the end of the term or struggling to make ends meet because their COBRA insurance is too costly. Health insurance for unemployed Louisiana residents does not have to be expensive if you know where to look. You may be able to enroll in short term health insurance, which is often more budget-friendly, or you could consider enrolling into a bronze tier policy and seek subsidies.
Do you run your own business or work part-time? Then you are considered an individual and can apply for Louisiana individual health plans. Health insurance for self employed and part-time employees may be eligible for subsidies, especially if you are making less than the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). Sometimes, small businesses and independent contractors also receive discounts, so be sure to ask a representative from the insurance company you are interested in to learn more.
Differences Between 2020 Open Enrollment and 2021
There are few changes from the 2020 season and the upcoming 2021 open enrollment. Rates in Louisiana have been stable, even with the influence of the global pandemic. The enrollment period remains open from November 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020. If you enroll during this window, your insurance will begin automatically on January 1, 2021.
Did you miss 2020 open enrollment? If you experienced a qualifying life event recently, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period. For instance, if you were laid off because of COVID-19 and lost your employer-sponsored benefits, you could qualify. Other events include child birth, adoption, changing your residence, getting out of jail, gaining citizenship, and more.
2021 Louisiana open enrollment** begins soon, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for November to begin comparing health insurance costs. All you need is your zip code to compare Louisiana health plans!
Keep Yourself and Your Family Protected
Healthcare is expensive, but if you want to protect you and your family from disease and other medical conditions, then it is essential. With preventive care, you can stay healthy and happy. Plus, you are protected from other dangers, such as high medical expenses that you cannot pay out of pocket. You have much more peace of mind knowing that things like physicals, immunizations, and other wellness checks are covered.
The best health insurance for you and your family depends on which county you reside and what providers are available. Compare Louisiana health plans today to learn more!