New, cheaper health insurance plans are available on the Louisiana marketplace, but there’s a catch: they don’t have to provide the same level of coverage as was mandated under Obamacare. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the plan may not cover things like pre-existing conditions and prescriptions.

“These short term plans are an exemption to those required or mandated coverage benefits and they are less expensive as a result.”

The short term plans can be utilized for up to three years.

Individual market plans saw a half decade of nearly double digit rate increases before leveling out this year. While prices are expected to go down about six percent nationwide this year, Donelon says many families making over 90,000 dollars a year that didn’t qualify for Obamacare subsides still can’t afford the coverage.

“Folks were not able to afford those better plans and went uninsured to the tune of tens of thousands in our state.”

Donelon says the problem is exacerbated by declining numbers of employers who offer health care plans.

Since 2010 many Louisianans have likely grown used to the guarantee that their health insurance covers pre-existing conditions, emergency services, hospital stay, and likely comes with a reasonable deductible. Donelon says these plans may not offer those services, so be careful when shopping.

“They should be very, very knowledgeable about such coverage limitations that are not applicable to traditional health insurance.”

The Commissioner says Louisianans may need to employ an insurance expert before shopping for the new plans.