November 1, 2018


Today Marks the Start of Open Enrollment for the Healthcare Marketplace

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is reminding Louisiana families that Open Enrollment for healthcare through the marketplace starts today. The enrollment period runs from November 1, 2018 through December 15, 2018 and coverage begins on January 1, 2019. During the enrollment period individuals and families who do not receive healthcare through their employers can sign up through the online Health Insurance Marketplace and purchase individual policies.

“We’re seeing rate decreases for the first time in quite a while in the Louisiana Individual Market,” said Commissioner Donelon. “It’s important to allow plenty of time to understand your coverage options and determine what works best for you. If you have questions, a licensed health insurance agent can help you explore your choices and also help you determine if you’re eligible to receive financial assistance paying your premium.”

The Health Insurance Marketplace,, was established by the Affordable Care Act and allows consumers to compare health insurance plans based on key factors including providers, coverage and price. Two health insurance issuers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana and Vantage Health Plan, Inc. are offering a total of 46 individual marketplace plans for 2019. Plan availability may vary across zip codes. Rate filings for plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace show an approximate average decrease statewide of 6.4 percent in the individual market and an increase of 0.1 percent in the small group market. 

Tips for Consumers:

  1. This year’s open enrollment runs November 1 – December 15, 2018. If you do not elect coverage by December 15, you will be unable to get healthcare coverage for 2019 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a life change such as marriage, having a baby or losing other coverage. Coverage for plans sold during open enrollment will start January 1, 2019.
  2. There will not be a penalty for not having minimum essential coverage. Before, consumers would pay a penalty if they were not enrolled in a health plan. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, that tax penalty will be reduced to nothing. If you don't have major medical health insurance for the 2019 coverage year, you'll be on your own for major health care costs, but you won't be penalized at tax time.
  3. Be sure to check the doctors and hospitals in a plan’s network. Check any plans you are considering for 2019 for your choice of doctors and hospitals. Coverage that does not include the hospital down the street, but does cover the hospital across town may not be the right fit for you. To learn more, visit the Louisiana Department of Insurance webpage
About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting