We include this story as an example of the wide range of reports about the status of the individual market. We're working to forming a position on this, and once we do, we'll let you know. - Sanders DiPiero
People having to fend for themselves in terms of acquiring health insurance in Louisiana will get a break on premiums in the new coverage year.
The new rates are to be officially announced August 1, but FOX 8 News got a preview from Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.
"I'm going from a group policy with a company that I've owned for 20 years,” said Cherry May, of New Orleans.
Even now she is shopping for health coverage.
"I have a daughter who's still eligible to be on my policy for another four years and so I'm not just responsible for myself,” said May.
It appears she is entering the individual insurance market at a good time.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said rates for individuals purchasing their own coverage, as well as small group plans will be about six percent lower for the new enrollment period.
"Decreased in the individual market and that's the first time in five years and it follows 50 percent increases over the last two years and it's not just in our state,” Donelon stated.
May was thrilled when told about that.
"Which is great timing for me. It's likely to bring lower individual rates, so that's great news for me,” she said.
While republicans and democrats differ over the worth of the Affordable Care Act which became law under President Barack Obama, Donelon believes the reason Louisiana health coverage rates are dropping is due to the insurance market absorbing what he called “dramatic” changes mandated by the federal health care law.
"There seems to be a stability coming to the health market and that's really, really, good news,” said Donelon.
A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis said individual market insurers had their best financial year under the ACA in 2017.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana dominates the individual insurance market in the state.
Its VP of Strategic Communication, Cindy Wakefield issued the following statement: