Down in the Bayou State, small businesses have shown that new growth in the wake of long-term economic challenges, such as those that arrived with Hurricane Katrina, is possible. Although Louisiana voted Democratic in presidential campaigns from the Reconstruction through the Second World War, it is overwhelmingly Republican today, having only supported Democratic southern governors’ runs for president. It is no surprise, then, that Louisiana challenged the Affordable Care Act during its time in the Supreme Court while at the same time choosing to expand Medicaid.
Enrollment through the Years
Louisianans can enroll in Obamacare health plans through the federal marketplace. Over the last three enrollment cycles, marketplace participation has declined overall.
- 186,277 Louisianans enrolled in 2015
- 214,148 Louisianans enrolled in 2016
- 143,577 Louisianans enrolled in 2017
The 2017 figure includes 33,485 new enrollees and 110,092 repeat customers. As was the case with many other states, more Louisianans enrolled in 2016 due to anticipated change surrounding the presidential election. Most exchange customers were in the age 18-34 demographic. Since Medicaid coverage was expanded in Louisiana in July 2016, over 324,100 new participants have signed up.
Assistance for paying monthly premiums is available to individuals with incomes falling between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit. In 2017, 86 percent of enrollees were eligible for federal subsidies. Those with incomes no more than 250 percent of the federal poverty limit are also eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) if they enroll in silver-level health insurance. In Louisiana, 55 percent of enrollees qualified for CSRs in 2017.
Carrier Participation & Plan Availability
Louisianans could choose from 1,097 Obamacare plans in 2017 offered by four carriers statewide, but not all plans are available in all areas. Three carriers will offer exchange plans to Louisianans in 2018. Prospective exchange customers in Louisiana should closely follow developments in Obamacare and the exchange programs at both the county and state levels.