The most recent, and possibly final, Affordable Care Act figures show 186,277 Louisiana residents had enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace plans for 2015.
A year ago, close to 102,000 Louisiana residents bought coverage through the federal marketplace for what is known as “Obamacare.”
New enrollees accounted for 58 percent of the 2015 enrollment total in Louisiana, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than half of those who returned to the marketplace and updated their information chose different plans.
HHS estimates that 87 percent of the 2015 enrollees, or around 162,000 people, will actually buy the coverage.
The enrollment numbers demonstrate two important things, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary For Public Affairs Kevin Griffis said during a Tuesday conference call.
“First, there’s a strong demand for the product. Second, re-enrollees were engaged in their health care in a way that we don’t typically see,” Griffis said.
Consumers’ willingness to take charge of their health insurance decisions also shows insurers how important it is to compete on price, he added.
The HHS report says 89 percent of all Louisiana enrollees qualified for an average tax credit of $319 per month. While 93 percent of individuals could have picked a plan that cost $100 or less per month after the credits, only 63 percent did so.
Critics have said the Obamacare plans include such high deductibles that enrollees are basically uninsured for all practical purposes.
HHS figures show 69 percent of enrollees nationwide chose silver plans, which cover 70 percent of medical costs.
For 2015, the average deductible for a silver plan in New Orleans is $2,848.61, according to HealthPocket Inc., which compares and ranks all available health plans. In Baton Rouge, the average deductible for a silver plan is $2,530.36.
Both are lower than the national average for a silver plan deductible, $2,927.
Cost-sharing, which includes deductibles and co-payments, varies from plan to plan. Some insurers help cover the cost of office visits and prescription drugs before an enrollee has met the deductible.
Nationwide, close to 11.7 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically enrolled in Marketplace coverage. Last year, 8 million consumers enrolled through the Marketplace.
Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.