Your employer or the government often provides health insurance (if you qualify). Individuals who do not get health insurance through their employers or the government will have to purchase private plans available on the state insurance exchange.
The best health insurance in Louisiana is a plan that balances cost and coverage. However, suppose you choose a plan with cheaper monthly costs. In that case, you will generally pay more for medical coverage because cheaper plans tend to have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
MoneyGeek analyzed plans bought through the insurance marketplace of Louisiana and determined the cheapest plans for residents based on different ages and different plan types to help you find the coverage that fits your needs.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by Metal Tier
Metal tiers affect the cost of health insurance in Louisiana. Depending on what you choose, you can get lower monthly insurance premiums. However, you will have higher deductibles. Getting higher rates will result in lower out-of-pocket expenses and more coverage.
In Louisiana, four metal tiers are available for individuals. These include Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. The average monthly rate for each tier are:
- Bronze: $508 per month
- Expanded Bronze: $474 per month
- Silver: $669 per month
- Gold: $728 per month
Bronze plans are more expensive than Expanded Bronze in Louisiana. However, this exception happens only in certain markets. If you expect high medical costs, you may be saving more by choosing a Gold plan. You will pay more on monthly premiums, but your out-of-pocket expenses will be lower.
Insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes may vary significantly within a metal tier. Use the table below, which lists the cheapest monthly premiums per metal tier, as a guide when shopping for the best health insurance in Louisiana.
Louisiana residents with a lower income may qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSR). If you are eligible for these, you could get cheaper deductibles when you buy a Silver plan.
The table’s health insurance rates are based on all types of plans available for a 40-year-old male resident in Louisiana. The rates are for HMO, PPO and POS plan types.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by Metal Tier
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- Metal TierPlanCompanyMonthly CostOOP Max
- BronzeBlue POS 60/40 $6500HMO Louisiana$429$8,550
- Expanded BronzeCHP LA Bronze - Two Free PCP VisitsCHRISTUS Health Plan$369$8,550
- SilverCHP LA Basic Silver - Two Free PCP VisitsCHRISTUS Health Plan$407$8,550
- GoldBlue Connect Copay 80/60 $1000 (S)HMO Louisiana$554$8,550
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by Age and Metal Tier
Your age will also serve as a determining factor when calculating the cost of health insurance in Louisiana. For instance, a Silver plan across HMO plan types costs an average of $536 per month for a 26-year-old. Meanwhile, a similar policy costs an average of $1,420 for a 60-year-old.
Health Insurance Costs in Louisiana by Age and Metal Tier
As you age, your insurance premiums increase. Getting plans with lower premium rates like an Expanded Bronze or Bronze plan will help you save on monthly expenses. However, you will be paying more out-of-pocket if you incur high medical costs.
This analysis includes average rates based on sample ages. These estimates do not account for the combination of income and age. There are instances when older people get cheaper rates due to tax premiums and other regulations. For exact quotes, you will have to apply for a plan.
The table below shows the differences in costs depending on the metal tier plan and age. Read MoneyGeek’s guide on Louisiana health insurance for more information.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by Age And Metal Tier
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- PlanCompanyMonthly Rate
- BronzePOSHMO Louisiana$306
- BronzePPOBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana$419
- Expanded BronzeHMOCHRISTUS Health Plan$264
- Expanded BronzePOSHMO Louisiana$271
- Expanded BronzeHMOCHRISTUS Health Plan$278
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by County
Your place of residency in Louisiana will affect your health insurance rates because Louisiana, like other states, has rating areas used in calculating premiums.
There are 64 counties in the state which are divided into eight rating areas. East Baton Rouge Parish is the most populous county. We’ve found that the cheapest option in this county is Precision Blue 80/60 $3400 provided by HMO Louisiana for a Silver plan. The average rate for this plan is $502 per month.
Use the table below to find the cheapest plan in your county for all metal tiers.
Based on MoneyGeek’s sample profile, these prices are a 40-year-old male looking for health insurance in that county.
Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Louisiana by County
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- Metal TierCompanyCheapest PlanMonthly Premium
- Orleans ParishBronzeHMO LouisianaBlue POS 60/40 $6500$408
- St. Bernard ParishBronzeHMO LouisianaBlue POS 60/40 $6500$408
- Plaquemines ParishBronzeHMO LouisianaBlue POS 60/40 $6500$408
- Jefferson ParishBronzeHMO LouisianaBlue POS 60/40 $6500$408
- St. Charles ParishBronzeHMO LouisianaBlue POS 60/40 $6500$408
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
Younger Louisiana residents with low medical costs and good health may want to get a low-cost plan with high out-of-pocket maxes. With this, you will pay lower premiums. However, you will pay more if you have a severe medical emergency or visit the doctor frequently.
The cheapest option for a plan with high out-of-pocket expense is CHP LA Bronze - Two Free PCP Visits from CHRISTUS Health Plan. The average cost of this plan for a 26-year-old is $296 per month.
MoneyGeek defines a high out-of-pocket plan as one with a maximum out-of-pocket expense of $8,250 or higher.
CHRISTUS Health Plan
For affordable health insurance in Louisiana with a high out-of-pocket maximum, the top option is CHRISTUS Health Plan’s CHP LA Bronze – Two Free PCP Visits.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
If you expect medical costs higher than the average person, you may have to buy a plan with cheaper out-of-pocket maxes. As a result, you will pay higher monthly premiums. However, you are more likely to reach the maximum limit sooner due to your medical expenses, which means your insurance carrier will start covering costs sooner too.
Blue Saver 60/40 $6100 provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the cheapest plan for low out-of-pocket maximums. The average cost of this plan for a 40-year-old is $685 per month.
Low out-of-pocket max is a plan that costs below $4,250. Louisiana does not have an out-of-pocket max below the threshold. Blue Saver 60/49 $6100, the cheapest option, has max out-of-pocket expenses of $6,900.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Saver 60/40 $6100 is the cheapest option for a plan with low out-of-pocket maxes in Louisiana. However, it is an Expanded Bronze plan, which means it falls on the cheapest metal tier in the state. As a result, you will be paying more affordable monthly premiums but may end up spending more if you have high medical costs or need to see a doctor regularly.
Cheapest POS/PPO/HMO Health Insurance Plan in Louisiana
To find the best health insurance in Louisiana, you have to consider your needs and preferences. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is the most common plan type in the state. Other plan types available in Louisiana are Point-of-Service (POS) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).
HMO tends to be cheaper compared to other plan types. This is because it requires policyholders to stay within their provider network to have services covered. A referral is also necessary to see a specialist.
PPO plans are more expensive than HMO but have a broader network. You also do not need a referral to see a specialist.
With a POS plan, you can get covered in or out of your provider network. However, costs will be higher if you choose to get coverage out of the network.
The cheapest health insurance plan in Louisiana for available types are:
- Cheapest HMO Silver Plan: CHP LA Basic Silver - Two Free PCP Visits provided by CHRISTUS Health Plan costs an average of $407 per month
- Cheapest PPO Silver Plan: Blue Max Copay 60/40 $3000 provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Louisiana costs an average of $905 per month
- Cheapest POS Silver Plan: Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) provided by HMO Louisiana costs an average of $451 per month
Cheapest Plan in Louisiana With an HSA
If you have good health and have no plans of going to the doctor frequently, you may want to consider Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). These plans are generally cheaper and allow you to make your pre-tax contributions you can use towards your medical expenses. If you do not use the money on health expenses, you can save it.
The cheapest health insurance for all available metal tiers with HSA in Louisiana are:
- Cheapest HSA Expanded Bronze Plan: CHP LA Bonze HSA plan provided by CHRISTUS Health Plan costs an average of $406 per month
- Cheapest HSA Silver Plan: Blue Saver 90/70 $3100 plan provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Louisiana costs an average of $914 per month
Typically, health insurance plans with HSA have high deductibles. As a result, you may need to pay out your savings if you have a significant medical expense.
What to Know About Health Insurance in Louisiana
MoneyGeek used sample rates based on private plan data from Louisiana marketplaces. You may find cheaper policies once you apply for a plan on the health insurance exchange. In addition, residents who have lower income or are older looking for affordable health insurance in Louisiana may qualify for government programs like Medicaid and Medicare. These are usually cheaper than plans from private insurance carriers.
Private Health Insurance on the Louisiana Marketplace
Private health insurance plans on Louisiana marketplaces are broken into four metal tiers. These are Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Here's a breakdown of how each tier differs.
- Bronze: Bronze is the cheapest option in Louisiana in terms of a monthly premium. However, it has higher out-of-pocket costs. It is best for individuals looking for protection against the costs if they have medical emergencies but do not visit a doctor a lot.
- Expanded Bronze: Compared to Bronze plans, Expanded Bronze has more coverage. They also have lower out-of-pocket costs. While premiums are more expensive than Bronze, it is cheaper than Silver and Gold.
- Silver: Silver plans tend to have the best balance of premium costs and out-of-pocket costs. They are at the middle ground with moderate rates. That means they are generally more expensive than Bronze and Expanded Bronze but cheaper than Gold.
- Gold: While Gold plans have the most expensive monthly premiums among the metal tiers, they offer the lowest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. So, these are a great option if you think you will need significant medical coverage throughout the year.
You may find even cheaper plans or increased coverage based on your income level. Individuals with incomes ranging from 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level can get premium tax credits. For example, these apply to a two-person household making $17,420 and $69,680 annually. For more information, use the Healthcare.gov calculator.
If you want to enroll in a new health insurance plan, renew or change an existing policy through the Healthcare Market, you can do so during the open enrollment. It is usually between November and December, but due to COVID-19, the government has extended the enrollment dates.
Louisiana residents whose income is between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level can get cost-sharing reductions when they buy a Silver plan. With these reductions, you can get lower deductibles, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums. Additionally, it is possible to purchase a Gold plan coverage for the price of a Silver plan.
Medicaid in Louisiana
Generally, the cheapest health insurance in Louisiana is Medicaid. This is a free government program. However, it is only available to eligible individuals. Louisiana is one of the states with Medicaid expansion. That means residents qualify for Medicaid based on income alone. If your income is below 138% of the federal poverty level, you may be eligible.
Medicare in Louisiana
Individuals aged 65 or older and those with a qualifying disability or illness may qualify for Medicare, a federal government program. However, unlike Medicaid, some coverage of Medicare does require payment. Despite this, it is still a more affordable option compared to insurance plans from private insurance providers.
Medicare has three parts:
- Part A: This is the hospital insurance, which is a free feature. It covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, nursing facility care and some home health care services.
- Part B: Medical insurance or Part B refers to coverage that includes doctors’ services, outpatient care, necessary medical supplies and preventive services. The cost of a premium for this will depend on your income.
- Part D: This is called prescription drug coverage. As the name suggests, it covers the cost of prescription drugs. Recommended vaccines are also included. The cost of your coverage will be based on the plan you choose.
Expert Advice: Finding Affordable Health Insurance in Louisiana
- How do I take advantage of cost-sharing reductions and tax credits for health insurance in Louisiana?
- Outside of plans on the health insurance exchange, where else can I get health insurance in Louisiana?
Professor at Tulane University and Chairman at SMG Capital
MoneyGeek's research is based on estimates, and the cheapest plan for you will depend on your individual needs and characteristics. This analysis is intended to serve as a guide and no single plan is guaranteed to be the cheapest in Louisiana for you
MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Louisiana from the Health Insurance Exchange Public Use Files (Exchange PUFs) for all available metal tiers and across several age groups.
Health insurance premiums on this page are an estimate and exclude potential premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies that users may be eligible for.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- Healthcare.gov. "How to Buy a Catastrophic Healthcare Plan." Accessed June 14, 2021.
- Healthcare.gov. "How to Pick a Health Insurance Plan." Accessed June 14, 2021.
- Medicare.gov. "What's Medicare?." Accessed June 14, 2021.