Statistically, Louisiana is one of the unhealthiest states in America. This state has higher incidence rates of obesity, diabetes, and smoking compared to the rest of the nation. If you or someone in your family struggles with medical issues, you need Louisiana health insurance you can afford, to keep you on the right track. People with health insurance are more likely to see a doctor before a small problem becomes a big problem, and to seek out preventive treatment options to stay well.
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Louisiana Health Issues
- About 1/3 of Louisiana’s adult population is considered obese.
- About 25 percent of the Louisiana adult population smokes cigarettes.
- About one in eight Louisiana adults has diabetes.
- Louisiana ranked 49th among 50 states in overall health of the population in 2012.
Where Can I Get Louisiana Health Insurance?
You have several options for where to get affordable Louisiana health insurance. The first option most people consider is to join a group insurance plan through your employer, whether it is private or public sector. These rates can be lower than those you would find on individual policies, but you can often find even better deals through an independent agent.
The next option would be to shop for your own individual or family policy. Navigating the federal healthcare exchange can be very tricky. Remember there are usually more options than those listed. And the third option is to get a health saving account, or HSA. A local agent can help you get started, or help you find the family policy that best fits your needs, often at lower rates than you find online.
Types of Plans
Group plans guarantee coverage for everyone enrolled, usually without consideration of any pre-existing conditions. If you are healthy, however, you may pay higher premiums than you would individually because of the state’s overall poor health and thus risk of high health insurance claims. The main types of group insurance plans are HMOs and PPOs.
An HMO, or health maintenance organization, is a specified group of doctors and health care providers (HCPs) that the insurance policy will pay most covered visits and procedures after a deductible is paid. If your personal physician is not in the network, however, any visits to that doctor will not be covered by the HMO.
A PPO, or preferred provider organization, is similar to an HMO except you can choose your own doctor or provider outside the network. Coverage would only be partial in those cases, however.
Cost of Health Insurance
Among Louisiana health insurance options, coverage for a healthy individual can be very reasonably priced. The average monthly premium for an individual plan in Louisiana is about $206, or almost $2,500 per year. A healthy individual should be able to find good Louisiana health insurance quotes that are lower than that by doing a little bit of shopping around, or by working with a nearby agent.
The best options for healthy individuals in Louisiana are sometimes HSAs, which can be combined with a high-deductible health plan to provide some federal tax relief and flexibility. You can put money in an HSA tax-free and use it for qualified medical expenses after your high deductible is paid (usually about $1,250 or higher). If you hardly go to the doctor, you’ll find that this plan may save you money in the long-term compared to other plans. A health insurance agent can go over these options with you and determine if it’s the right fit for you and your family, based on factors like where you live, your medical history, and the medical background of your family, among other factors.
What Is the Outlook for Health Insurance in Louisiana?
With the Affordable Care Act due to take full effect in 2014, some changes have taken place in Louisiana. Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state would not create an exchange for the federal law, and refused to increase Medicaid eligibility. In a state with one of the highest poverty rates in the country, that leaves about one in four non-elderly adults (about 750,000) without Medicaid insurance and perhaps without the ability to afford their own plans. While adults have very stringent Medicaid rules to follow to be eligible, Louisiana is one of the national leaders in providing coverage to children in poverty. If your family makes less than $38,000 a year with one child, you may be able to have your child covered by Medicaid, which may then free up the adult parents to get individual policies.
Get Help to Find the Health Insurance You Need
There is a wealth of information to address your Louisiana health insurance needs and options. The easiest way to get answers is to meet with a local agent in the Trusted Choice® network. An independent agent can give you Louisiana medical insurance quotes to fit your budget and the health needs of your family. Contact an agent near your home to get started.