In Louisiana, different metal tier plans have varying rates, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers the cheapest Expanded Bronze plans, Gold plans, Silver PPO plans and Silver POS plans. UnitedHealthCare provides the cheapest Silver EPO plan.
If you are looking to balance monthly premiums with quality claims and coverage, MoneyGeek analyzed the best health insurance in Louisiana.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Louisiana
Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by Metal Tier
The cheapest health insurance plan for residents in Louisiana is CHRISTUS Standard Silver from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana, costing roughly $527 per month.
The cost of your health insurance depends on the metal tier you select. More expensive plans provide more coverage. MoneyGeek listed the most affordable metal tier options based on average monthly cost:
- Bronze: CHRISTUS Standard Bronze from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana ($414 per month)
- Expanded Bronze: Blue Connect 70/50 $4550 (S) from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($408 per month)
- Silver: Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($500 per month)
- Gold: Blue Connect Copay 80/60 $1000 (S) from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($580 per month)
Plans with lower monthly premium costs, like Bronze and Expanded Bronze plans, typically provide less coverage. Silver and Gold plans may have a higher monthly cost, but they come with more benefits and lower out-of-pocket expenses.
Health insurance plans are categorized by metallic tiers. More valuable metals, such as Gold or Platinum, have more expensive monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs.
Young and healthy Lousianians should consider less valuable metal tiers like Bronze or Silver plans. Those with more demanding health care needs might prefer a more valuable metal tier, like Gold. Silver plans offer a good middle ground by balancing cost and coverage.
Resource: Learn more about metal tiers
Cheapest Silver Plans in Louisiana
CHRISTUS Standard Silver from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana is the cheapest Silver Plan, which costs approximately $527 per month. The best and most affordable Silver plans are:
- CHRISTUS Standard Silver from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana: $527 per month
- CHRISTUS Silver - 2 Free PCP visits, includes Virtual from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana: $541 per month
- CHRISTUS Silver HD - 2 Free PCP visits;Virtual;$25 PCP;$40 SPE;$40 Urgent;$0 PrefGen from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana: $546 per month
Silver plans are often chosen for their relatively low deductibles and fair amount of coverage. Only Silver plans offer cost-sharing reductions to help you pay for co-insurance, copayments and other medical expenses, if you qualify.
Note that the plan recommendations below are all HMOs. While they are not necessarily the cheapest health insurance plans in Louisiana, they are the most accessible to the residents of the state.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Louisiana
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers the cheapest Gold plan called Blue Connect Copay 80/60 $1000 (S) at around $580 per month. The top Gold plans available in the Pelican State are:
- Blue Connect Copay 80/60 $1000 (S) from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $580 per month
- Signature Blue Copay 80/60 $1000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $591 per month
- CMS Standard Gold from Ambetter: $592 per month
Gold plans have higher monthly premiums compared to Silver or Bronze plans. However, it’s worth getting a Gold plan if you’d rather pay more each month and less out of pocket when you receive care.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Louisiana
The most affordable Bronze plan is CHRISTUS Standard Bronze from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana, which costs roughly $414 per month. Consider other cheap Bronze plans such as:
- CHRISTUS Standard Bronze from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana: $414 per month
- CMS Standard Bronze from Ambetter: $428 per month
- Blue POS 100/100 $9100 Standardized Plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $443 per month
Bronze plans tend to feature lower monthly premiums and high out-of-pocket expenses, making it a good option for those that infrequently need medical care.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Louisiana
Blue Connect 70/50 $4550 (S) from Blue Cross Blue Shield is the cheapest Expanded Bronze plan, with an average monthly premium of $408. Other affordable Expanded Bronze plans include:
- Blue Connect 70/50 $4550 (S) from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $408 per month
- CHRISTUS Bronze - 2 Free PCP visits, includes Virtual from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana: $425 per month
- Community Blue 70/50 $4550 from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $436 per month
Expanded Bronze plans are in between Bronze and Silver tier plans in terms of cost and coverage. It usually covers one major medical service and doctor visit before you meet your deductible.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana for Those With Low Income
Louisiana residents whose annual income is below 250% of the FPL may qualify for CSRs, which reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) from Blue Cross Blue Shield is the cheapest plan for low-income Louisiana residents. Depending on your annual income bracket, you may receive a lower MOOP cost while paying the same monthly premium:
- Income from $27,181 to $47,565 per year: Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) ($7,000 MOOP)
- Income from $28,386 to $27,180 per year: Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) ($3,000 MOOP)
- Income lower than $20,385 per year: Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) ($1,900 MOOP)
Only Silver plans are eligible for CSRs. The income brackets above are for that of a single individual; they will vary based on the number of people in your household.
Cost-sharing reductions don’t reduce the cost of your premium. Instead, medical insurance providers pay a higher share of your health care when you receive treatment, reducing the cost of your deductible, copay and out-of-pocket expenses.
The average monthly premium for the Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) plan is $500 for both standard and low-income plans. However, these plans differ when it comes to MOOP costs. The standard plan has a MOOP of $7,000, while the low-income plan for an individual whose income is 150% or below the FPL has a MOOP of $1,900.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by Plan Type
The most common plan type in Louisiana is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan. Other available options include Point of Service (POS), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans.
MoneyGeek’s research found that the cheapest medical insurance in Louisiana for each plan type are:
- EPO: UHC Silver Advantage ($0 Virtual Urgent Care + $0 PCP Visits, $3 Generic Rx Pref Pharm) from UnitedHealthCare ($707 per month)
- POS: Blue Connect 80/60 $3400 (S) from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($500 per month)
- PPO: Blue Max Copay 50/50 $3200 from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($724 per month)
HMO plans are often the cheapest option, but policyholders are limited to using in-network providers. EPO and PPO plans are typically more expensive, but they have a larger network and provide more flexibility if you need to consult a specialist.
You can get cheap private health insurance in Louisiana with the following plan types:
- HMO plans tend to be the most affordable option. However, it offers the least flexibility since you need to stay within your network to receive care, except in emergencies. Before seeing a specialist, you will also need to get a referral from your primary care provider.
- EPO plans are like HMO plans since you will only receive coverage for in-network providers. One key difference is that you might not always need a referral to visit a specialist.
- POS plans offer the option to receive medical care in or out of your provider’s network, but costs are more expensive for the latter.
- PPO plans don’t require referrals for specialist visits. These are more expensive than HMO plans but might be worth the extra buck if you prefer more flexibility.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Louisiana by County
Not all plan types are available across Louisiana, which means that the most affordable option may be different for each county. We compared the average monthly premiums in the largest county, East Baton Rouge Parish, with the second-smallest county, Cameron Parish:
- East Baton Rouge Parish: CMS Standard Silver from Ambetter ($552 per month)
- Cameron Parish: CHRISTUS Standard Silver from CHRISTUS Health Plan Louisiana ($544 per month)
We also included the available Silver plan options per county.
Health Insurance Costs in Louisiana by Age and Metal Tier
Your age and metal tier impact the cost of your monthly premium. The premiums below reveal differences in cost per metal tier for an average 40-year-old Louisianian:
- Bronze: $1,897
- Expanded Bronze: $2,112
- Silver: $2,627
- Gold: $2,939
Your premium cost tends to increase as you get older. Silver plans for young adults, middle-aged adults and seniors are $1,877, $2,627 and $5,579, respectively.
What to Know About Louisiana Health Insurance
MoneyGeek gathered data to find cheap private health insurance plans in Louisiana. During open enrollment, consumers can shop around for plans to find the best one for their coverage needs.
Residents in Louisiana who are eligible for government-backed programs like Medicare (for seniors or persons with a disability) and Medicaid (for low-income individuals) might be able to secure a cheaper rate.
Private Health Insurance in the Louisiana Marketplace
Open enrollment is the period of time in which consumers can purchase private health insurance from the marketplace. From November 1 to January 15, you can apply for health insurance.
If you want your health insurance to cover you by January 1, 2024, you must enroll by December 15, 2023. Early enrollment gives you the opportunity to adjust your plan before the period ends.
You can also purchase private health insurance in Louisiana during a special enrollment period that occurs outside of open enrollment.
You can only qualify for special enrollment if you’ve encountered a significant life event such as having a child, losing health coverage, getting married and other similar experiences. You usually have a 60-day window before or after the event to enroll in or modify a plan.
What Are Health Insurance Metal Tiers?
You’ll find Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold plans in Louisiana. More valuable metal tiers, like Silver and Gold, typically have higher monthly premiums and lower deductibles.
- Bronze plans have the lowest monthly premiums and the highest deductibles, making them ideal for those who don’t frequently need medical care.
- Expanded Bronze plans are similar to Bronze plans, but they offer slightly more coverage, which means that you will pay less out of pocket when you have a medical emergency.
- Silver plans are the middle-ground option between Expanded Bronze and Gold plans. They feature moderate MOOP and reasonable premium costs. Silver plans are also the only type of plans that offer CSRs.
- Gold plans are the most expensive plan type available in Louisiana, but these offer comprehensive coverage and feature a lower deductible and MOOP.
Note that the metal tiers don’t dictate the quality of care that you receive. Instead, it influences your coverage level, premiums and other features.
Medicaid in Louisiana
Medicaid is a federal health care program that offers virtually free medical coverage for individuals with limited income and resources. Personal care and nursing home care are covered by Medicaid. Depending on the services you need, you may have to pay a small amount.
Medicare in Louisiana
Medicare is a government-funded medical insurance program that caters to seniors aged 65 and older, as well as those with a qualifying disability or illness. While policyholders have to cover costs, it’s still more affordable than a marketplace plan.
Medicare is divided into three parts:
- Part A: This covers hospital care such as inpatient stays, nursing facilities, hospices and home care.
- Part B: This includes medical insurance that covers doctor’s visits, preventive services, outpatient care and certain medical supplies.
- Part D: This helps pay for prescription medicines and vaccines.
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
Louisiana Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
You might have a few questions about the affordability and availability of cheap medical insurance in Louisiana. We tackle the most commonly asked questions below.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- HealthCare.gov. "Silver Health Plan - Glossary." Accessed January 12, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Special Enrollment Period." Accessed January 13, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "When Can You Get Health Insurance?." Accessed January 13, 2023.
- United States Census Bureau. "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts." Accessed January 12, 2023.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. "What’s the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?." Accessed January 13, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Federal poverty level (FPL)." Accessed January 13, 2023.