Insurance

Best Ways To Get Affordable Health Insurance In Louisiana

Securing your health is undoubtedly a good and wise thing to do. In Louisiana, there are several ways to get your health insured.

You could buy from an insurance broker or agent or buy directly from a health insurance provider or alternatively you could buy from the government’s health insurance marketplace if you qualify. 

You may qualify for subsidies when you buy health insurance through the marketplace. But it is dependent on your income and your eligibility for other health insurance coverage.

Medicaid 

Medicaid is the cheapest health insurance in Louisiana. Medicaid is a free government-provided healthcare program. However, it is not available to everyone. Only those whose income is below 138% of the federal poverty level are eligible.

Medicare 

Medicare is also government-provided health insurance for the elderly-65 and above and for individuals with disability and illnesses. The Medicare program is not entirely free like Medicaid, it requires some payment. However, it is still more affordable compared to private health insurance. 

Medicare is divided into three parts:

  • Part A

This part is the hospital insurance and it is a free feature. It covers inpatient hospital stays, nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care services.

  • Part B

Also known as medical insurance. It covers doctors’ services, outpatient care, necessary medical supplies, and preventive services.  Your premium cost for this part depends on your income.

  • Part D

This part is called prescription drug coverage.it provides coverage for the cost of prescription drugs. Recommended vaccines are also included in this part. How much you pay for coverage depends on the plan you choose.

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Some Factors That Affect Premium Costs In Louisiana

Health insurance providers in Louisiana use a number of factors to determine how much your monthly premiums would cost. These factors play important roles in deciding whether your premiums would be low or high. 

We have researched and found some important elements that significantly affect the amount you pay for your monthly premiums. Some of them include:

Age

This plays a major role in determining the cost of your premiums. Your premiums are directly proportional to your age.

That is, the older you get, the higher your premiums on health insurance. Health insurance providers in the US, Louisiana inclusive, charge older people higher premiums, with the reason being that older people are more likely to fall sick and so should be charged higher.

Body Mass Index

The body mass index(BMI) is the measure of the body’s weight to height. The BMI is usually used to calculate a person’s level of body fat and also used to know if a person is of a healthy weight.

In Louisiana, having a high body mass index is likely to raise your monthly premiums.

Individuals with a high BMI stand at a greater risk of having severe health conditions. A high BMI increases your risk of diseases like osteoarthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, cancer, and even depression. 

If you are looking for ways to cut costs on your health premiums in Louisiana, maintaining a healthy body mass index would be the ideal thing to do. It wouldn’t just save you on costs but it would also improve your health.

Past Medical History

Health insurance companies in Louisiana use your past medical records to determine your premium cost. If you have a pre-existing illness or you’ve been suffering from a disease, you’re likely to be charged higher rates. Healthy individuals pay the least on health insurance.

Occupation

We are exposed to different hazards and dangers in the places we work. However, the level of danger varies depending on our environment.

Health insurance companies weigh risks when determining the cost of premiums. People who work in places where they are exposed to more dangers pay more for health insurance.

Geographical Location

Areas with limited healthy food options and health and climate issues tend to pay more for health insurance.  Parishes in Louisiana have different ratings; some parishes pay more while others pay less. 

Smoking/Tobacco Use

Smokers in Louisiana pay more for health insurance than non-smokers.  Smoking endangers your health and puts you at a greater risk of suffering from diseases like stroke, diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung diseases, tuberculosis, etc. 

Health insurance providers in Louisiana charge smokers higher to insure their health. If you want to save some money on premiums as a resident in Louisiana, you should consider quitting the habit. That way you’d be using a stone to kill two birds; money and health, secured.

Other factors that affect your premium costs are coinsurance features, the type of policy you choose, and policy duration.

Private Health Insurance On The Louisiana Marketplace

Private health insurance companies in Louisiana use a metal tier system to categorize plans available on the marketplace. These plans are divided into four metal tiers; they include bronze, expanded bronze, silver, and gold tiers. 

Below is a breakdown of the plans:

Bronze plan

The bronze plan is the most affordable option in the Louisiana marketplace. It has the lowest monthly premiums but it also has the highest out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles. This plan covers about 60% of your medical costs and lets you pay 40%.

But note that you must hit your out-of-pocket maximum before your insurer steps in. It is best for young and healthy people who do not expect high medical costs or expenses.

Expanded Bronze Plan

The expanded bronze was introduced to extend the coverage limit of the bronze plan. It covers up to 65% of your medical costs. They have lower out-of-pocket expenses compared to the bronze plans and are cheaper than silver and gold plans. 

Silver plan

The silver plan is a great balance between the high premiums of the gold plan and the high out-of-pocket deductibles of the bronze plan. This plan covers up to 70% of your medical expenses.

They provide moderate rates and they qualify for Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR) and premium tax credits that save you some money on premiums. 

Gold plans

Gold plans are the most expensive among the metal tiers. They have the highest monthly premiums and also the lowest out-of-pocket maximums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

These plans cover up to 80-90% of your medical costs. It’s usually best for people who need medical care and attention often and has expensive prescriptions and so expect high medical costs. 

The average monthly rate for each tier is as follows:

  • Bronze: $508 per month
  • Expanded Bronze: $474 per month
  • Silver: $669 per month
  • Gold: $728 per month

The Cheapest Health Insurance In Louisiana By Parish

The parish area you reside in Louisiana affects how much you would be paying for health insurance. Unlike other states, Louisiana has parishes instead of counties. Louisiana has 64 parishes and has 8 rating areas used in calculating premiums. 

East Baton Rouge Parish is the most populous parish. HMO Louisiana’s Silver plan, Precision Blue 80/60 $3400 is the most affordable option in Louisiana. The average monthly rate for this plan is $502.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes

Young residents in Louisiana with good health and low medical costs may like to purchase plans with low monthly premiums even though they have high out-of-pocket maxes. 

CHRISTUS Health plan’s  CHP LA Bronze – Two Free PCP Visits is the most affordable option in Louisiana. The average monthly cost of this plan for a 26-year-old is $296. 

The Cheapest Health Insurance In Louisiana With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums

For individuals who expect high medical costs and purchase plans with high premiums and low out-of-pocket maximums, Blue Saver 60/40 $6100 provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the most affordable option having an average monthly cost of $685 for a 40-year-old.

Cheapest POS/PPO/HMO Health Insurance Plan In Louisiana

When searching for the best health insurance in Louisiana, you have to put your needs and preferences into consideration. There are three types of health insurance plans.

Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO), Preferred Provider Organisation(PPO), and Point of Service(POS) plans. 

HMO is most common in Louisiana and is cheaper compared to other plan types. HMO  requires policyholders to stay within their provider network to have their health services covered. You also need a referral to see a specialist.

PPO plans have a wider network compared to HMOs and are more expensive. With PPO coverage, you do not need a referral to see a specialist.

The POS plan includes both the HMO and PPO plans in its policy.  PPO offers coverage both in and out of your provider network. The most affordable health insurance plan in Louisiana for available types include:

  • Cheapest HMO Silver Plan: CHP LA Basic Silver – Two Free PCP Visits provided by CHRISTUS Health Plan costs  $407 per month on average
  • Cheapest PPO Silver Plan: Blue Max Copay 60/40 $3000 provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Louisiana costs $905 per month on average
  • Cheapest POS Silver Plan: Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) provided by HMO Louisiana costs $451 per month on average

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