Louisiana seeing higher health insurance costs

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 5:18 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The deadline to apply for health insurance is Wednesday, Dec. 15 for people who want their healthcare to kick in at the start of 2022. People can still apply through Jan. 15.

Louisiana has the fifth-highest individual health insurance costs, according to a ValuePenguin study.

“We see some medical treatments postponed as individuals budget their dollars elsewhere,” Centenary Economic Professor David Hoaas, PhD, said.

According to the Commonwealth fund, 41% of uninsured patients chose not to go to the doctor when they had a medical problem. That’s because those who are underinsured or uninsured cannot afford to (or do not want to) foot the bill themselves.

“Especially with COVID, a lot of people lost their jobs,” said Andrea McKnight, the development director with David Raines Community Health Center. “When you’ve lost your job, you’re without insurance.”

Premiums are getting more expensive for those who do receive healthcare through their employers.

“Corporations, business firms are paying a smaller portion of their employees’ health insurance,” Hoaas said.

He also mentioned healthcare, in general, is becoming more expensive.

“For those with employer-provided healthcare, average annual premiums for family coverage rose 37% from $15,545 in 2015 to $21,342 in 2020,” according to Investopedia.

Commonwealth fund found “Premium contributions and deductibles were 10 percent or more of median income in 37 states in 2019,” including La., Ark. and Texas.

“Healthcare gets more expensive when the population expands—as people get older and live longer,” according to Investopedia. “Therefore, it’s not surprising that 50% of the increase in healthcare spending comes from increased costs for services, especially inpatient hospital care.”

Hoaas noted while the pandemic may have highlighted this rise, it is not new and has, in fact, been trending upward for years. Investopedia cosigns that observation and says they “are expected to keep increasing.”

For resources, click here. You can also visit MLK Health, which works with adults who struggle with chronic conditions.

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