Higher premiums will greet those who sign up for health insurance provided by the federal Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment begins today for coverage in 2017. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says Louisiana families we’ll see an average premium increase of 33%, which is above the national average.
"It's going to be a significant burden for those who have to get their health insurance on an individual basis for next year."
Donelon says there are good reasons for the higher premiums. He says consumers will see lower deductibles and co-pays and better overall coverage. But the higher premiums are still a tough pill to swallow for those who purchase a policy through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
"The healthcare system in America is the best in the world but it's very expensive and not going down any, it hasn't gone down in decades."
Enrollment numbers for 2016 show that 184,000 Louisiana residents have health insurance through Obamacare. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 93% of those enrolled received a financial subsidy this year and Donelon says it’s a big help.
"And that subsidy, which is given to them in the form of a tax credit on their income tax return, offsets 80% of the cost of their health insurance."