Louisiana And The Health Care Exchanges, Explained

Oct 1, 2013

Starting October 1 people without health insurance, and those who buy their own insurance, can sign up to get coverage through the new federal health care exchanges.

The new programs have been covered extensively on NPR, but WWNO’s Eve Troeh sat down to get a few more details straight with Doug Wilkinson, the  field coordinator for the Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition, a non-partisan group. He started the conversation summarizing who’s eligible, and who’s not.

*Anyone with Medicare or Medicaid coverage, or with health  insurance from their employer, is not eligible for the exchanges.

*The exchanges are for people without health insurance, for the self-employed, or for those whose employer does not provide coverage.

*While Louisiana, like several other states, has not created its own exchanges, Louisiana residents are covered by the federal exchanges and can create an account to shop for coverage at healthcare.gov

*Five companies are offering coverage for Louisiana residents under the exchanges. Some offer it statewide, while others are exclusive to certain parishes. Residents can enter their information at healthcare.gov to see which companies offer coverage in their ZIP code.

*Creating an account at healthcare.gov does not require you to purchase insurance.

*People can sign up for the exchanges today, but coverage does not take effect until January 1, 2014.

Additional links:

The federal site to sign up and purchase health care coverage: healthcare.gov

Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition: www.lhec.net

More from the NPR Health Blog, here.

A two-minute explainer from WebMB, here.