There were 400,200 uninsured people in Louisiana as of 2019, per data from a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) report. That amounts to almost 9% of the state’s population. KFF analyzed the data again in 2021 and found that of the people without health insurance still, nearly 20,000 people could qualify for marketplace health insurance.
Marketplace health insurance is regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the country’s current healthcare law. Under the ACA, major medical plans — which are sold on and off the marketplace — must cover 10 essential health benefits and guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The ACA also created advance premium tax credits for people earning 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level. These tax credits, also called premium subsidies, lower the cost of health insurance for people with low to moderate incomes. Most people qualify for them.
Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that of the people without health insurance in Louisiana in 2021, about 23% of them could get a bronze marketplace plan for free — meaning no premium.
KFF also looked at premium data for 2021 and calculated the lowest cost premiums in three different metal categories. In Louisiana, lowest cost averages are $410 for bronze plans, $502 for silver and $614 for gold. These averages don’t include premium subsidies.
If you qualify for subsidies, you may save money on your monthly premiums. Using data from our own marketplace, we estimate that a 40-year-old living in Lafayette with an annual income of $37,000 could pay just under $167 a month for a bronze plan. That does include subsidies.
Your options for plans and how much you pay for coverage will vary based on where you live in the Pelican State. In 2021, there are at least three insurers in Louisiana offering marketplace plans. These include Christus, Vantage and LA Health Service.
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population”
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Marketplace Eligibility Among the Uninsured: Implications for a Broadened Enrollment Period and ACA Outreach” (January 27, 2021)
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier, 2018-2021”
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Insurer Participation on the ACA Marketplaces, 2014-2021” (November 23, 2020)