State Exchange Profiles: Louisiana
Updated as of December 13, 2012
Establishing the Exchange
Governor Bobby Jindal (R) announced that Louisiana will not pursue the establishment of a state-based health insurance exchange and instead will allow the federal government to operate an exchange in the state.1 While a bill establishing an exchange was introduced in the 2012 legislative session, it was not supported by the Governor and failed when the legislative session ended (SB 744).2,3 Prior to the announcement that the state would not operate its own exchange, Governor Jindal signed into law a bill prohibiting plans operating in a state-based exchange from offering abortions, with no exceptions (HB 1247).4
Essential Health Benefits (EHB): The ACA requires that all non-grandfathered individual and small-group plans sold in a state, including those offered through the Exchange, cover certain defined health benefits. Since Louisiana has not put forward a recommendation, the state’s benchmark EHB plan will default to the largest small-group plan in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana- GroupCare PPO
In September 2010, the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals was awarded an almost $1 million federal Exchange Planning grant; the Department announced in March this money would be returned to the federal government.5
The federal government will assume full responsibility for running a health insurance exchange in Louisiana beginning in 2014.
1. Barrow, Bill. “Jindal Takes Stage in GOP Initiative Against Health Law.” The Times-Picayune, July 2, 2012. http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/07/jindal_takes_stage_in_gop_init.html.
2. Senate Bill 744. Regular Session 2012. Creates the Louisiana Health Insurance Exchange.http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=794947
3. Barrow, Bill. “Louisiana Senate Panel Sinks Plan to Set Up Health Insurance Exchange.” The Times-Picayune, May 16, 2012.http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/05/louisiana_senate_panel_sinks_p.html
4.House Bill 1247. Regular Session, 2010. http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=722961
5. Moller, J. ‘Louisiana to opt out of health insurance exchanges in federal law.’ The Times-Picayune. March 23, 2011.http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/03/louisiana_to_opt_out_of_health.html