Louisiana Health Insurance
Louisiana has one of the highest infant death rates and one of the lowest life expectancies in the United States. In order for Louisiana’s statistics to improve, the health of its residents needs to improve. State residents should seek out treatment and receive preventive health care. Changes through the Affordable Care Act, such as the federal health insurance marketplace, can make it possible for more residents to obtain health insurance.
What is a health insurance exchange?
Health insurance exchanges help people find plans that meet their needs at an affordable price. States had the option of creating their own health insurance exchange or defaulting to the federal marketplace. Louisiana is one of 27 states that will use the federal health insurance exchange, found at HealthCare.gov
Do I qualify for a health insurance subsidy?
Individuals with income between $11,490 and $45,960 – between 100 and 400 percent of the 2013 poverty level – may be eligible for these subsidies. For a family of four, the eligibility range is between $23,550 and $94,200.
Typically, Medicaid and CHIP qualification will be determined using 2014 poverty level limits, and subsidy eligibility will be determined using 2013 limits.
If you qualify, financial assistance will come in the form of a subsidy, which helps offset the cost of insurance plans bought on the exchange.
Health insurance companies in Louisiana
The following companies offer health insurance in Louisiana.
- Vantage Health Plans
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Inc.
- HMO Louisiana
- Coventry Health Care of Louisiana, Inc.
- Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana
- Louisiana Health Cooperative
Louisiana LaCHIP Program
LaCHIP is the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program. This program is available to Louisiana residents aged 19 years or younger. Coverage is provided on a yearly basis, so coverage must be renewed annually.
Eligibility is determined by the annual household income of the person providing care. In Louisiana, children with family incomes up to 255 percent of the poverty level — about $60,815 for a family of four — are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.
Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid are two additional possibilities for Louisiana health insurance. Medicare is available to those aged 65 and older as well as those with certain disabilities. Medicaid is for individuals living below the poverty level, which is $23,850 for a family of four under 2014 poverty guidelines. Medicaid will cover those who are pregnant, caring for children younger than 19, or disabled.
With these options, it should be possible to find health insurance. With adequate coverage, Louisiana residents can look forward to healthier lives, and the state can look forward to longer life expectancies and better health for all residents.
Louisiana health and coverage statistics
Louisiana population (2013): 4,625,470
Population 65 and older (2012): 12.9 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 75.7 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 885,700
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 596,800
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 878,900
Overall state health ranking (2014): 48
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
Louisiana health insurance resources
HealthCare.Gov (where Louisiana residents can buy health insurance on the marketplace): www.healthcare.gov
Louisiana Department of Insurance: http://ldi.louisiana.gov/
Louisiana Medicaid: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/subhome/1/n/331
Office of Aging and Adult Services: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/subhome/12/n/7