Louisiana Health Care Mandates in the News: Answers to Your Healthcare Questions About the Affordable Healthcare Act

As of October 1, 2013, every state is required by law to offer an online marketplace for its citizens to choose and purchase health insurance. For some people, this will present a major setback in their finances. To others, this is exciting news that will make it affordable for them to seek the health care they have needed. Most states – including Louisiana – will provide five tiers of Qualified Health Plans. These are oddly named after precious metals (except the latter); including platinum, gold, silver, bronze and catastrophic.

The highest level of coverage starts with the platinum plans, although these are also the most costly in monthly premiums. On the other side of the scale, the catastrophic health care plans will only cover the bare bones minimum of health care expenses, however with lower monthly premiums. Although no one can predict their health or if accidents occur, if you are somewhat of a healthy person and want a smaller bill, then one of the lower tiered plans is probably the best for your circumstances.

If you are from a low income family in LA, you should consider the Health Insurance Marketplace plan because the government offers financial assistance based on a sliding scale of premiums, with even greater benefits if you choose a silver-tier plan.

So what do you need to do? Well if you are a Louisiana resident who already has a health insurance plan either through work or individually, then you may qualify for a tax credit to help offset the cost of the health insurance. You can use this handy calculator to determine the tier that is best for you in LA. This also gives you a glimpse of how much the premiums cost, the deductible included in the plan and the out-of-pocket limit, as well as a five-star rating system so that you can make an informed decision.

Under the Affordable Care Act, there is a chance you could qualify for subsidized health insurance. Qualified applicants can lessen the cost of monthly premiums or use them as an annual tax credit. To get a subsidy, you must pick a health care plan that has been approved by the federal government and local government of LA. Also called “Qualified Health Plans” these plans have met a unique criteria without the loopholes associated with pre-existing conditions and uninsured people.

Signups for this began on October 1, 2013 and must be done by January 1, 2014. Louisiana has five insurance carriers that you can choose individual health insurance plans from:

  1. Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana
  2. AAA Vantage Health Plan
  3. Louisiana Health Cooperative
  4. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
  5. HMO Louisiana

Although we are in the midst of trying to understand the Affordable Health Care Act, for many reasons pertains to the entire company of Care, Inc. If we have any more updates or news, we will keep you posted!